Save your relationship: 5 unbreakable rules for fighting fair

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Fights suck, especially the fights that involve your partner. It is amazing how stressful discussions can get between two people that love each other. Still, some of the most heated and hurtful fights happen within couples. The worst part is that, in many cases, the problems that kickstart a fight are really easy to work through if they were simply approached in the right way and with the right attitude. Healthy relationships are built on healthy communication, and that is something that all of us can learn. If your relationship is worth fighting for, then working hard to end the fights should become a priority.

Trust me: you can save your relationship.

Learning to Fight

Let me confess something: I used to be deathly scared of fighting. I avoided conflict like the plague! Even if it meant keeping my mouth shut about issues that really bothered me or putting up with some mistreatment. Learning to speak up about what upsets me is something that I´m still working on improving every single day.

I used to believe that openly addressing problems with others was the scariest thing in the world. In my mind, I was always afraid that it would only open the door to screaming, hurt feelings and disaster.  The idea of ending up in tears or facing a series of attacks sounded so much worse to me than the option of simply keeping my mouth shut and locking up the issue in a box.

Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, this resulted in me bottling up all the negative feelings, which creates a perfect breeding ground for resentment and broken relationships.  Doesn´t sound healthy at all, right?

Eventually, after embarking on this journey of self-improvement I´ve slowly come to terms with finding better ways to deal with the unpleasant parts of the normal human interaction. While I still feel uncomfortable with conflict, I discovered that healthy alternatives to dealing with disagreements do exist. I mean, anything is better than disappointing silence. I finally realized that voicing my worries and concerns are the most crucial steps to resolving a conflict. After all, if you want to keep positive relationships, finding solutions yields way better results than pretending that problems don't exist.

Not only did I learn to raise my voice, I have also picked up some really helpful advice on how to do it. This has helped me improve so much at expressing myself in my relationships. Fighting with the person we love is one of the most stressful situations, but working through the issues is very important too. Today, I want to share all the knowledge I´ve gathered in hopes of helping you deal with any painful or uncomfortable situation that you may face with your significant other. In my experience, in most cases, healthy communication and the right disposition is all you need to work past any fight.

I was able to summarize most of what I´ve learned in  5 key points. Stick to them and I promise your fights will be a lot easier to bear and to resolve. So, here it goes:

The Five Unbreakable Rules for Fighting Fair

1. Voice your feelings in a non-offensive way

Some things have to be said, but it is crucial to pay close attention to how we say them. There are many strategies that help others understand our message that doesn´t involve aggression or forceful speech. Tone and body language play a huge role in how we interact with each other and it is something that we have to keep tabs on. Taking a calm and open stance is a great way to begin. Keeping a sweet tone of voice and using non-accusatory statements can go miles at improving the way you communicate as a couple. Instead of going on and on about the other person´s mistakes a better option is to simply express how you honestly feel about whatever situation you are facing, without assigning blame,  and communicating that you wish to find a solution to work through it.

Looking at a problem as an external circumstance, rather than attaching all the negativity directly to the other person, can make the issue far more approachable for both of you.

2. Stay away from aggressive or insulting language

Fights are already hard enough to start throwing around insults like confetti. Calling somebody names or worse is not going to help your case. In fact, its only bound to make your partner feel attacked and offended. Putting the person you are trying to communicate with on the defensive role makes them way more angry and way less receptive to what you have to say. So no matter how awful you feel, cussing and spitting out spiteful things can only cause more harm. It hurts the person that you love and it puts you in a position in which it's much harder for your thoughts to be taken seriously by the other person. 

Chances are if you are in a fight you are trying to work through things that have upset you. By insulting your partner you are doing nothing towards resolving issues, but create new ones by hurting the other person. Kindness is always the best approach. Show your partner that you care about them enough to solve your issues through healthy dialogue.

3. Stay calm, avoid fighting with a hot head

The best time to talk about a problem is hardly ever when you are right in the middle of it. If there is something bothering you, the best thing is always to step aside and really think about it. Are you hurt, stressed, insecure or angry? Analyze why you feel that way and what actions or situations created these feelings. Acknowledge that most probably the person that you love wasn´t purposely trying to cause you harm. Find a way to articulate everything that crosses your mind in a calm way. Let them know how whatever situation affected you and propose solutions that could work for both of you. Be receptive to listen about how the other person feels about the situation as well.

Some meditation and introspection are always good to keep things in perspective. You can totally work through whatever you are going through if you only find a way to stay calm. Take out the anger, yelling, and rage, and you´ll be left with a civilized conversation. This improves your chances of both reconciliation and not disturbing your neighbors.

4. Remember what matters: the goal should be finding solutions, not getting back at the other person.

This should be common sense, but you would be surprised how easy it is to lose sight of this concept in practice. I have been a victim of committing this mistake before. Sometimes you are so consumed by how annoyed, disappointed, angry and hurt you feel that all you want to do is let it all the negativity out, whatever it takes. The perpetrator of our worries then becomes the perfect outlet to discharge on. However, in the larger scale of things, this will do no good to a relationship or your partner. Concentrate on fixing and not destroying. It even helps to say this out loud. If you are looking to discuss something that´s been bothering you, you can always begin by communicating your intentions of setting things straight above all; let them know its the wellbeing of your relationship what matters the most. This will keep both of your priorities in check.

5. Be receptive. If you want to be heard you should be up to do some listening.

Respect lies in treating others the way we wish to be treated and it is one of the most important values to cultivate in a relationship. Go ahead and show your partner some respect by being willing to listen to his/her side of the story, with the same level of understanding and kindness with which you would like to be listened to. After all, a solution has to work for the both of you in order for it to be fair and truly work.

"One word can end a fight. One look can save a relationship."

I hope applying this rules improves the way you handle conflict with your S.O. Have you applied any of this tips? If so, how did that work out for you? Do you have any other helpful insight into dealing with the problems you have in your relationship? Please share in the comments.


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