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How to Choose Your Battles Wisely

Updated on June 22, 2013

Look Before You Pounce!

In the heat of the moment it is easy to lose your temper and argue (or worse) over an issue that really isn't that important.  As a general rule, look before you leap!
In the heat of the moment it is easy to lose your temper and argue (or worse) over an issue that really isn't that important. As a general rule, look before you leap! | Source

How to Prioritize Your Grievances

Most of us have found ourselves in the presence of people we don’t like. Almost always, it is not by our own choices. Maybe only one person gets under your skin. It could be a family member, co-worker or boss, or even a lover. Well, there is a fine line between over reacting and under reacting to an unpleasant situation. If you choose to fight about everything that bothers you, the relationship will rapidly deteriorate. Prioritizing your issues can prove to be helpful.

  • Unacceptable behaviors are your top priorities. If someone is physically or emotionally abusive toward you, stand your ground and fight your battle. That is unacceptable behavior and nobody deserves it.
  • Next in the line of priorities should be issues that truly upset you. If someone is not sharing household chores or bills, it can be frustrating. If you feel you are being ignored or misunderstood, you may or may not want to discuss this with the other person involved. A good rule of thumb is to wait two days before saying anything, if at all possible. This gives you time to reflect on the situation and decide if it really, truly does bother you. If after your "cooling off" period you find you are still bothered, by all means, address the person and discuss the problem.
  • Lastly, pet peeves are usually not a reason to battle. A late arrival, chewing with an open mouth, or hogging the remote control really are not that important. You may decide to discuss these topics, eventually, but arguing really isn’t worth it.

Release Your Stress in Healthy Ways

We all have stress.  If you allow your stress to build up, you may not be able to control your temper when you become upset.  Be sure to have a healthy outlet to express yourself whether it be running, boxing, dancing, singing, or playing sports.
We all have stress. If you allow your stress to build up, you may not be able to control your temper when you become upset. Be sure to have a healthy outlet to express yourself whether it be running, boxing, dancing, singing, or playing sports. | Source

When to Fight Your Battle

If there are too many disagreements, and you find yourself always taking issue with another person, you may decide to remove yourself from the relationship. Constant tension and anxiety are not healthy. If you are working or living with someone under those circumstances, it is wise to find yourself another home, or employer.

Before you go toe to toe with someone, remember to take a few things into consideration first.

  • Is either of you tired or hungry?
  • Is either of you hormonal?
  • Is either of you embarrassed?

Always choose issues that are unacceptable to address first. However, if possible, remember to take two whole days away from the issue. If it still bothers you after that time period, it may require a discussion to get through it.

Use Your Words Wisely

Chances are, when you have a disagreement with someone, the matter will eventually be solved.  Be sure to use kind words, refrain from using profanity, be professional, do not raise your voice, and keep the conversation on point.
Chances are, when you have a disagreement with someone, the matter will eventually be solved. Be sure to use kind words, refrain from using profanity, be professional, do not raise your voice, and keep the conversation on point. | Source

Search for Compromise and Harmony

If you find yourself in a situation of constant disagreement and cannot remove yourself from the environment, do your best to compromise with the other person. There is nothing wrong with making a deal with someone. Quid Pro Quo works well in settling an argument.

Not only will compromise satisfy both parties, but it will lead you on a path of harmony. Try to find common interests with the other person. Decide that you both agree to disagree and drop the issue completely. Just let it go. Try to develop mutual respect, set boundaries, and communicate with the one who annoys you.

Remember that once you say the words, they never go away. Please be careful when you are discussing an issue. Try not to do it when you are angry. Do not call anyone names; and take turns speaking. If you cannot speak without yelling or interrupting each other, email, text messages, and written notes, are a great communication tool to use.

Pray for discernment, patience, and enlightenment. Pray for courage to do and say the right thing. Pray for peace and calm. And always keep a positive attitude. These alone can help prevent a rift in your relationship.

For you and the person(s) you take issue with, I wish peace and harmony in your relationship.

"Be kind to one another" ~ Ellen

God Bless You ~ Margaret Sullivan

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    • Mmargie1966 profile image
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      Mmargie1966 5 years ago from Gainesville, GA

      Thank you so much, wayseeker! I really appreciate your comment.

    • wayseeker profile image

      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      I love this information and how clearly and simply it is presented here. Picking battles is hard to do because we so naturally want to fight them all, but this hub provides some nice places to stop and think before acting.

      This is one that I wish the world would stop and read!

      Great work, Margie.

      wayseeker

    • Mmargie1966 profile image
      Author

      Mmargie1966 5 years ago from Gainesville, GA

      Once again, thank you for sharing, Cre8tor. I enjoy reading your comments.

    • Cre8tor profile image

      Dan Robbins 5 years ago from Ohio

      Very nicely put together and well said. Picking your battles wisely also leaves you more credible in the eyes of onlookers. Someone who is picking all the time, even if right, can find themselves unheard when they speak on something of real value.

    • Mmargie1966 profile image
      Author

      Mmargie1966 5 years ago from Gainesville, GA

      Why, thank you, jaswinder64. I appreciate your comment.

    • jaswinder64 profile image

      jaswinder64 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada.

      You are right, that if someone physically or emotionally abusive towrds you, then you have to fight you battle. Nice hub, very informative.