The saying “All’s Fair In Love And War”, isn’t really conducive to a healthy relationship between two people. There are ways to have productive arguments and disagreements without having to end the night with someone sleeping on the couch, or angrily hanging up the phone call. We have put together a list of 5 tips and tricks to fair fighting to help both parties feel that their voices have been heard and their issues can be on their way to being resolved.
Despite the Circumstances, Do Your Best To Remain Calm
In tense situations, it is so much easier to overreact and lash out in anger or grief rather than think through and process things rationally. Harsh tones and outbursts often only either escalate the situation or cause communication to shut down–neither of which are outcomes we want to see. Taking a moment to gather your thoughts and compose your emotions can change the course of the fight, and make it a more productive one at that. Being vulnerable in a calm manner can really open your partner’s eyes to the issues at hand and how and why you might be hurting.
Your demeanor in a fight can totally set the tone for how things will go and what can come from the disagreement. If you are able to take a deep breath and go into it knowing what you want to say and what you want to get out of it, the fight will feel much more fair and worthwhile.
Don’t Make Unfair Threats
You hear it all the time, but we want to again put a lot of emphasis on how important trust is in a relationship. Perhaps the easiest time to break trust with your partner is during an altercation or disagreement. It’s almost too easy to throw out a threat to break up, call off an engagement, get a divorce, take out your savings, or threaten to leave when emotions are running high and when issues arise. We’re here to tell you to avoid these unfair threats.
To keep a feeling of safety in a relationship, it is best not to throw the relationship in your partner’s face during a fight. Try instead to focus on feelings and how to start a path towards healing and resolving the issues. The more solution-based the fighting is, the less likely you’ll be to want to make these threats.
Be Specific About What is Bothering You
The more vague the grievance is that you are bringing up, the harder it will be to understand it and therefore resolve it. The more specific you can narrow the root of the problem down to, the easier it will be for your partner to see where you’re coming from and know how to approach the matter and start to fix it. Just like trust as we previously mentioned, communication is another huge stone in the foundation of your relationship. And communicating during arguments is a big part of that.
Being able to pinpoint what is causing issues in a relationship, is so essential to the health of that relationship. If you can take some time before bringing up the matter to your partner and reflect on what exactly it is that you want to see changed, it will lead to a more beneficial conversation.
Try Not To Generalize
Some of the worst words to hear during an argument are: ALWAYS and NEVER. Please please please avoid these words at all costs. These generalizations are typically untrue because things are rarely so consistent as to be considered always or never things. These kinds of words can raise the tensions and emotions in the room for both you and your partner. It makes it feel as though there are higher stakes than there really are.
During an argument, try to use words such as seldom, rarely, or often to avoid these loaded and generalized extreme words. Sticking to words that are more truthful in the situations can help keep the fight be productive.
Only Tackle One Grief at a Time
A focused argument is a productive argument already. To narrow the subject of discussion down to the main issue at hand can resolve a lot of “rabbit holes” and off topic conversation that can distract from what is hurting you. When you know and are ready to dedicate the time to an issue, it is important to do just that. To give that issue the time it needs to feel fully dealt with and not lost in the conversation of other things that get brought up when two people in a relationship are upset.
It is okay to introduce new topics, but only after the others are fully discussed and each person feels the closure they need on it. If you throw in too many complaints at once, none of them can truly be resolved and moved on from, which ends with too many loose ends that will come back into the relationship at one point or another. The more resolved conflicts, the better each person will feel in the end.
There you have it! 5 Ways to start to turn your fights in a more productive and healthy direction. These tips can help in keeping the conversation both purposeful and directed. We want disagreements in relationships to be aimed at healing and resolution focused as much as possible. We hope they can be helpful to both you and your partner. For more tips on what to stop doing in your relationship, check out this blog.
Now go forth and fight (fairly)!!