Saturday, August 1, 2009

Mom Always Said Fight Nicely - Part 1

Well, it was bound to happen. You have had a "fight" with someone you love, be it a friend, boyfriend, husband, wife, mother or father. The most important thing to understand is that every healthy relationship has fights. I know we all know someone that says "But me and (insert significant others name here) never fight." One of two things is possible here:

1) They are lying to you. That's right...l-y-i-n-g. Some people cannot STAND to lose face and will say the most insane thing to make you believe that they have a fairy tale life. They do not have a fairy tale life. All people

have problems, just some worse than others.


2) They actually don't fight. Contradicts #1, huh? Let me get a little more involved here. If they don't fight, they aren't communicating. Lack of communication is a relationship killer. In fact, in my own opinion, it can be the number one relationship killer. If you aren't telling your partner what is bothering you, how can they know? Right? Right.

It is natural to argue with people you love. People do it everyday. The key is to not let certain things happen when you are arguing. First, when someone else starts an argument either by pointing something out that you do that they don't like or even by a difference of opinion, try not to take it personal. It's important to try and remember it isn't a fight. Tell yourself that it is an argument. This will help keep you in a clear state of mind. Keep and even keel and try regulating the tone of your voice. Yelling will only exacerbate the situation.

Sometimes, this isn't possible, things escalate on their own and the argument morphs into a full blown fight for whatever reason. You have to remember that this person loves you, and though they may be saying things you don't like at this moment, this doesn't change who they are to you. The more passionate you are about the topic at hand, the harder this can be. The most important thing to think of is that this is occurring with absence of malice. Now, what does that mean exactly? It means that no matter what they are saying or even how they are saying it that they are not trying to be hurtful. Most likely they are as frustrated as you are, and whatever you are feeling is exactly what you are feeling.

It's entirely possible that at this point they are just trying to "win" the fight. People instinctively want to win. The thing to remember is that when it comes to fighting with your loved one, no one wins. It's less important to emerge the victor by clever wordplay or adequately placed blame on the other party than it is to end the fight. And really, how can you win when you know someone you love is now hurting over something you've said. Most fights really start for stupid reasons anyway, like saying "I hate when you smack your gum like that". No one can be "right" in a situation like that, because there is no real "right", there is only an opinion. In the end, whatever the reason the fight began, the reason it escalated and continued is the fault of BOTH parties involved. It takes two to tango, and you just can't fight with yourself without looking really strange. The concept of laying blame is the biggest cause for these things dragging on, and really, in the end does it MATTER who was at fault? Does knowing who is to blame fix anything? It is better to accept your own fault. Apologize. Always apologize. Recognize what you did to hurt the other person even if you didn't start it, because you can never move forward if there is an open wound.

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