Conflict is an inevitable part of any relationship, but how you handle it can make all the difference. Fighting fair is about communicating your needs and feelings in a way that is respectful and productive. Here are some dos and don’ts for fighting fair in your relationship.
Do: Take a break when things get heated
It’s okay to take a break when things get too intense. This doesn’t mean you’re giving up on the conversation, it just means you’re giving yourselves a chance to cool off and come back to the discussion when you’re both feeling calmer so as not to worsen or escalate the issue.
Don’t: Bring up past issues
Bringing up past issues or mistakes is not productive in a fight. Instead, focus on the specific issue at hand and try to find a solution together. If you have concerns about past behaviour, address them in a separate conversation. Try to focus on what is happening in the present.
Do: Use “I” statements
Using “I” statements, such as “I feel hurt when…” or “I need…” can help you express your feelings without blaming or attacking your partner. It is also a way of sounding responsible for your actions or feelings as you both navigate towards finding a lasting solution. This can help keep the conversation productive and focused by admitting faults and finding a solution.
Don’t: Use name-calling or insults
Name-calling and insults are never productive and can quickly escalate a fight. Also when you go down that route it becomes a habit that might be difficult to stop. Remember to stay respectful and avoid attacking your partner personally.
Do: Listen actively
Active listening is an important part of fighting fair and resolving issues. Make sure you’re truly listening to your partner’s perspective and trying to understand their point of view. You can even repeat back what they’ve said to ensure you’ve understood it correctly. Remember that resolving the issue at hand is the goal and this can be accomplished by understanding all that your partner is saying.
Don’t: Interrupt or talk over your partner
Interrupting or talking over your partner can be frustrating, disrespectful and counter-productive. Make sure you’re taking turns speaking and allowing your partner to finish their thoughts before responding.
Do: Take responsibility for your actions
Taking responsibility for your actions is an important part of resolving conflicts. If you’ve made a mistake or hurt your partner, acknowledge it and apologize. Don’t try to justify yourself during fights.
Don’t: Expect your partner to read your mind
Your partner can’t read your mind, so be clear about your needs and expectations. Communicate openly and honestly to avoid misunderstandings and prevent fights
Conclusively, fighting fair is an important skill for any relationship. Remember to take breaks, use “I” statements, stay respectful, listen actively, take responsibility for your actions, and communicate clearly. With practice, these habits can help you resolve conflicts in a healthy and productive way. Stay happy!