- Gender and Relationships
How to Fight the Right Way
Ready Your Weapons!
Prepare the battlefield. It's time for another fight with your significant other. Does it ever seem like you fight and argue regularly over the same exact things? Even if you "win" the argument, you still feel completely unsatisfied? Why is that? It could possibly be the fact that fighting is only beneficial if it ultimately helps you and your partner understand each other better and brings you closer instead of tearing you apart.The reality is that we all fight. What matters is how you do it. This article is about how to fight the right way. So let's get started.
The best way to "fight" is to avoid a full-blown argument in the first place. As soon as you notice something that concerns you and you feel may turn into a big problem in the future, talk about it. Have a calm,mature conversation with your significant other,friend,family member,etc. I've found this has been extremely helpful in my own personal relationships. Let's be realistic- even the happiest and closest relationships will have disagreements every now and then. The trick is to remain respectful and be proactive in how and why you say things. Also,pick your battles. You don't want to have these conversations every second of every day. Only bring up problems that you feel may build up and explode in your relationship's face. This way you can acknowledge having a difference of opinions without risking the health of your relationship. It's a common misconception that couples have to have hurtful fights in order to grow and remain healthy-no.It may be inevitable that confrontation and tension will arise at some time because neither you nor your partner are perfect. However, these differences can be discussed respectfully as opposed to starting an angry match of seeing who can cut the other deeper with their words. Which brings us to our next point...
2. Mind Your Manners
Choose your words very,very carefully. There's an old saying that goes "Keep your words sweet and tender because you might have to eat them tommorow." In other words, don't just spew permanently hurtful words out of temporary emotions. The spiteful words that leave our mouths have serious repercussions on our relationships that we can't foresee. Long after the conflict is resolved and removed, your partner may never be able to forget those hurtful words no matter how much they wish to. Also, passive-aggressive digs can be even worse than aggressive attacks because they're usually full of even more malice and can't simply be chalked up to a simple overreaction. Even after apologies are said, what was said in the fight may cause your significant other to question if a part of you does actually believe the ugly things you said about him/her and your relationship. These doubts can lead to instability in your relationship because your partner is likely to now be on the defensive side constantly. Moreover, what you say in times of strong emotion is significant because you are teaching your partner if they can safely talk to you about their concerns. If you become disproportionately frustrated, your partner will learn to keep their worries and concerns to themselves causing them to build up, eventually leading to tension and most likely, more fights.
Take a step back. Go to another room. Listen to a Meditation. Count up to ten then back down. Do whatever it is you need to do in order to calm down. Our brain does not differentiate between feeling threated physically or feeling threatened emotionally. This means that we feel a surge of emotions and our body literally reacts to the painful stimulus as we go into fight,flight, or freeze. This surge in heartbeat, sweating, and heavy breathing only intensifies our negative emotions so it's imperative that we take time to calm down before jumping into a fight while still in this state of physical panic. It's important to respond as opposed to react. That means to leave the topic alone until both of you are calm enough to have a mature conversation devoid of spite and harshness. This significantly reduces the chances of saying or doing something you'll wish you hadn't.
NEVER be too proud to apologize. Whether you think you're wrong or not, there are always two sides to every coin. What I mean by that is even though you may think you didn't do anything wrong, that's only your opinion. You are not perfect. Therefore, you must take responsibility for at least part of the argument even if it seems a lot smaller than your partner's piece. An apology is not really an admittance of wrong as much as it's an offering of peace and a display of your desire to reconcile and save the relationship. This is not a test to see who can hold out longer and who apologizes first. This is an opportunity to show your partner how much you want to stay together and that you don't want this skirmish to ruin what you have. Don't let your pride get in the way. And forgive your partner if they do apologize-maybe you will still have hurt feelings and there are some "unforgiveable" things that leave permanent scars and cannot be forgiven immediately. However, make sure that you do put as much effort as you can into forgiving them and giving the benefit of the doubt because that is what you will want when it's your turn to be in the wrong.
Live Happily Ever After
At the end of the day, no matter how many losses have occurred due to your past battles, there's always hope. As long as both of you are in it for the long run, no fight will tear you apart. Remind yourself why you chose this person out of everyone else in the world. It's easy to focus on the negative and bring up old memories of what they've done wrong in the past- but how is that making anything better or helping you move forward as a couple? Remember what it was like to fall in love with them in the first place and hold on to that. Never give up on your partner unless they give up on you. You learn how strong a relationship is when it has survived many storms. Also, don't get hung up on your first few fights-they're always the hardest. Learn how to fight fair and don't forget to apply it when times get rough.And, above all else, remember these 3 things: you are a team, this person is your Best Friend, and you wouldn't trade them for the world.