6/28/2012 11:40 AM
Every couple will disagree at some point. Whether that disagreement becomes a fight, and how damaging that fight will be to your relationship all depend on how you handle it. Here are some of our top tips for learning how to fight fair:
- Let go of your need to be right. What's more important, being right or being respectful to your partner? You and your partner are arguing because you disagree. Be open to hearing their point of view on the issue.
- Use "I" and "me" statements instead of saying "you." "You" is accusatory, and attaches the blame for the problem to your partner. When you say "you," you are also guilty of inherent assumptions about the meaning of your partner's behavior. This sets the two of you up for conflict. Instead of saying, "you never listen to me!" say, "I often feel like I am not being heard." The answer to the first question is usually a denial, "Yes, I do listen!" The second sets up a dialog where you can explore what is making you feel ignored.
- Never say "always" or "never." Yeah, I see what I did there... roll with it. The problem with saying "always" or "never" is that it brings every disagreement you and your partner have ever had into the discussion, instead of focusing on what is causing a rift right now. To keep your fight fair and healthy, only discuss the things you are currently upset about.
- Learn when to let things go. Some disagreements are no big deal. It makes no sense to have World War 3 over dirty socks left on the floor. With small irritations, either casually mention, "Hey, I picked up your socks for you," or just don't say anything at all. Picking your battles means that you save unpleasant confrontations for the big stuff, and makes your relationship more peaceful.
- It's okay to be irritated. If your partner seems upset, but is not telling you why, sometimes it's better to give them some space than to try to discuss it. Often, they just need a little time to cool down. By letting your partner wait until they are calm to tell you what is going on, you increase your chances of having a civil discussion instead of a blow out fight.
Want to hear more? Steve Truitt and Lorna O joined our Planet Love Match Radio hosts a few weeks back to share their tips on handling fights in a relationship. Hear what they have to say below: