Are you a dirty fighter?
Do you keep your cool or do you go for the jugular when navigating a fight with your significant other? Well, research shows that how you fight, especially how you end an argument can in fact determine the long-term success of your relationship.
The key is to get your point across while staying in control and maintaining your respect for your partner. Instead of fighting to be right, why not switch your thinking and fighting for your relationship instead — which means that you might need to put the good of your relationship before yourself on occasion.
I found this really good list of tips about how to fight fair on Dr. Phil’s website. I really think they hit the nail on the head:
- Take it private and keep it private.
Fighting in front of your children is nothing short of child abuse. It can and will scar them emotionally — all because you don’t have the self-control to contain yourself until you can talk privately.
- Keep it relevant.
Don’t bring up old grudges or sore points when they don’t belong in a particular argument. Put boundaries around the subject matter so that a fight doesn’t deteriorate into a free-for-all.
- Keep it real.
Deal with the issue at hand, not with a symptom of the problem. Get real about what is bothering you, or you will come away from the exchange even more frustrated.
- Avoid character assassination.
Stay focused on the issue, rather than deteriorating to the point of attacking your partner personally. Don’t let the fight degenerate into name-calling.
- Remain task-oriented.
Know what you want going into the disagreement. If you don’t have a goal in mind, you won’t know when you’ve achieved it.
- Allow for your partner to retreat with dignity.
How an argument ends is crucial. Recognize when an olive branch is being extended to you — perhaps in the form of an apology or a joke — and give your partner a face-saving way out of the disagreement.
- Be proportional in your intensity.
Every single thing you disagree about is not an earth-shattering event or issue. You do not have to get mad every time you have a right to be.
- There’s a time limit.
Arguments should be temporary, so don’t let them get out of hand. Don’t allow the ugliness of an argument to stretch on indefinitely.
All couples have arguments from time to time. If done correctly fair fighting can actually strengthen your relationship and bring you closer together. So, take the gloves off and fight fair folks.
Was there a time where you realized that you weren’t fighting fair? Share the details….
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