Fair Fighting. Keep your Blow Out from Blowing Up your Relationship.

June 23rd, 2010 by admin in Relationship
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1133322169-127192Fair Fighting.  What does that mean?  Aren’t we supposed to avoid fighting at all costs?  The reality is that fighting can be helpful if it’s done well.  It can help you resolve an issue or at the very least feel heard.  Sometimes when we hear the word “fight” we picture a huge blow out but that’s not what I’m advocating.  It’s also not helpful to just shut down and keep your frustrations or feelings to yourself.  Finding something more in the middle is what I’m talking about.  Finding a way to talk about things that might be tricky or hard and not having the conversation turn into something ugly.  We talked about Fair Fighting on Studio 6 this week.

Here are a few things to keep in mind in order to keep the peace when “fighting.”

Fair Fighting Dos

  • Solve the Problem – Don’t try to Win
  • Stay in the Present – Don’t Bring up Past Problems (if you are fighting about household chores, don’t bring up your mother-in-law or sex, stick to the topic)
  • Limit your Fights to 30 minutes or Less
  • Take a Time Out if necessary (it’s important that if you request a time out that you then tell you partner how long you need and when you would like to talk about this again)
  • Speak for Yourself – Use “I” statements
  • Take Turns Talking

Fair Fighting Don’ts

  • No Name-Calling
  • No Abusive Language (this can including swearing or sarcasm or anything you find hurtful)
  • Attack the Issue, Not Your Partner
  • Don’t get Physical
  • Don’t Blame Your Partner
  • Don’t Make Threats – No Talk of Divorce or Breaking Up if the fight doesn’t go your way

It’s important to define your fair fight rules with your partner before you are fighting.  You can use the above rules as guidelines and this site also has some great fair fight rules.  Make sure you both agree on what goes on your list.  You may want to add “no yelling” or “no mind reading”  or anything else that feels appropriate for your relationship.

And then you need to post this list where you can see it.  It might take a little time to get in the habit of following the rules, but once you do you’ll quickly learn that taking a little time to keep fighting at bay can give you more quality time with your partner.

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