How to Fight, Right!

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Squaring off against your partner or friend is never fun, but how you handle the situation can actually speak volumes about your relationship. I have a temper.  There, I said it.  After a large number of what some may categorize as “explosive” fights, I have learned how valuable communication is.  It is hard. So here are some tips I’ve learned that to help me put on my hard hat and get to work.

  1. Take the time you need to calm down in order to have a civilized conversation. Breathing room is ok – just make sure you are both agree to that.
  2. If possible, have a conversation in person – texts and even phone calls can’t take the place of physical connection.
  3. Keep a close eye on your WBT (Words, body language and tone) – HOW you say something is just as important as WHAT you say.
  4. Leave accusations at the door – the blame game doesn’t help anyone. This just puts you both on the defensive.
  5. Remember the other person has feelings on the subject too – I struggle with this a lot. When I get upset I tend to forget that other people may be equally as upset for a different reason, but it is very important to recognize.
  6. LISTEN! When you are sitting there thinking about what you are going to say next, you may miss something important that the other person is saying!
  7. Avoid words like “Always” and “Never” – when you talk in absolutes it doesn’t leave any room for change.
  8. Be aware of mine fields – Both parties may have hot buttons so tread mindfully. You don’t want to set something off that is completely off topic.
  9. Operate with full disclosure – Your partner does not know what is in your head. You have to tell them. If something hurts your feelings, speak up! Plus if you aren’t fully open about how you feel, it WILL come up again in a later fight.
  10. Keep the fight in perspective – Is this something to end a friendship or relationship over?
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