Fighting Fair

Arguments are natural in every relationship, whether they be with your significant other, a friend, or a member of your family. Fighting is healthy and can help strengthen your relationships—as long as you’re fighting correctly. There are many ways to have a healthy and progressive argument with others. The sooner you learn how to fight fair, the better and stronger your relationships will be.

Recognize That No One is Perfect

No one is perfect. At some point in your life, everyone is going to let you down and hurt you to some extent. That is not saying that they are trying to upset you on purpose, just that by human nature people upset one another. The faster you recognize that no one is perfect, the faster you’ll be able to forgive others.

 

Genuinely Listen

Most people don’t genuinely listen when someone else is speaking, they are simply waiting for their turn to speak. When you really listen to what someone else is saying you’ll be able to understand where they are coming from.

Be Open and Flexible—Don’t Shut Someone Out

Sometimes, when people are upset, they choose to wallow in self-pity or anger instead of openly communicating their feelings. If you shut them out, then there is no way for the issue to be resolved so that the relationship can move forward.

 

Be Honest

Don’t sugar coat how you are feeling. Honestly share your emotions so that you’re clear in what you need to be resolved moving forward. 

 

 Don’t Personally Attack your Partner--Attack the Issue

Use “I’ statements instead of “you” ones. For example, instead of saying “you always hurt my feelings when we talk about dogs” say “I feel like my feelings are hurt when we have conversations about dogs”. By using “I” statement, you prevent your partner from feeling the need to become defensive.

Don’t Use Personal Information or Weaknesses for Leverage

If you know your partner is self-conscious about their weight, do not purposefully use this to degrade them and make them feel insignificant. All you are accomplishing is hurting another human’s feelings.

Don’t Act as if You Can Read Your Partner’s Mind and Don’t Expect Them to Read Yours

If you don’t tell your partner that you want them to do something in your relationship, they probably will not have a clue that you want a change. If you want something, tell them. Then there is no room for confusion.

Honor the Process

Understand that all couples fight, all friends fight, and all family members fight at some point in their lives. Honor the process of arguing and understand that if done correctly you can have an even stronger relationship than you began with.

Keep your Dialogue Balanced

Do not allow only one person to completely control the conversation. Both partners need to be able to speak for the argument to be healthy and progressive.

 

Be Yourself

Do not feel like you need to act or speak a certain way in an argument. Be yourself and feel at ease while you are having a discussion that might be difficult.

 

Never Keep Score

Keeping score is so unhealthy for relationships. When you do this one person ultimately feels that they have control over the other person.

 

Never Fight When You’re Tired or Hungry

I know some people say never go to bed angry, but I disagree with that statement. Sometimes you are fighting over something ridiculously silly. If you decide to get a good night’s sleep and discuss it in the morning, oftentimes you both will be much calmer and the issue at hand will not seem so dire.

Also, being hangry is a thing. If you are arguing with someone and you’re hungry, take a moment to get something to eat and then revisit the conversation when you’re full.

If the Relationship is Out of Control, Seek Professional Counseling

Sometimes relationships need a bit of professional help and THAT IT OKAY. there is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking counseling if a relationship does not seem to be progressing in the way you want it too. Having a third party there to lead the dialogue between you and your partner can work wonders on even the most strained relationships.

Remember, fighting is a natural part of life, so don't be scared of it! Simply make sure that your fighting is fair to ensure a positive and progressive conversation.