Saturday, August 1, 2009

Mom Always Said Fight Nicely - Part 2

I was surprised when I realized how much I had to say on this topic. I suppose it's important to say that it is in my nature to be argumentative, and it has taken me years to try and break the habit. There is never perfection in this, and it will take the rest of my life to be better. With that in mind, I have always had a few simple beliefs when it comes to any argument, and I honestly think that these help the situation. These are just some personal rules I have set in order to attempt to better a crappy situation:

1) Do not fight in your bed room. Whether it be on the phone or in person, a fight needs to stay out of the place where you rest your head. If you argue where you sleep, it keeps the one room in the whole house that ought to be a sanctuary from actually being a safe place. Everybody needs a place where there can be peace. Fights are not so important that they have to take over your whole life. If there are children in your home, send them to their rooms, without showing that there is a problem, and quietly shut the doors. Which brings me to:

2) Don't let your children see you fight. It is VERY important that children don't have a reason to believe that there is unrest in their homes. Children don't speak about familial issues, and the last thing a child needs is to internalize feelings. This creates a whole mess of issues that they will need a therapist to sort out.

3) Try not to go to bed angry. I cannot express the importance of this one enough. Extreme emotions at bed time can cause a whole litany of problems from nightmares to ulcers. It's bad enough to to have a fight at all, but to take it to bed with you is too much. Some will say "The fight late at night, I can't finish it before I go to bed" or "I had work in the morning, I needed to sleep". This isn't true. The fact of the matter is you have the option to stay awake to try to resolve it. One hour less sleep may be worth a little peace of mind.

4) Forgive! You may be surprised that I have to bring this one up at all, but it's true. Many people cannot forgive the tiniest of errors. If a sincere apology has been made, accept it. In the end, both people involved will feel better, and the fight will end even quicker. There is no use in dragging things on forever, it's important to know when to let your anger go. The most important thing I can say to this is that everyone is guilty of having dragging these things out longer than they ought to be. Remember that the other person is just human and has feelings just like you. Wouldn't you want forgiveness if you apologized?

I know I have probably said enough on this already, spending nearly 2 pages writing on this topic, and it can be a bit of a downer. I also know I will likely revisit different aspects of this, because people have questions and everyone is different in the way they argue. I haven't said this before, but if anyone has any ideas they want to see here, e-mail me, I am up for talking about whatever anyone wants to hear. Until tomorrow!

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