Love, Always

5 Ways to stop fighting and start loving…

Fight Fair

Do you get beet red when you’re angry?

When I was a child, there was no yelling, screaming or angry outbursts at home. No one felt their cheeks flushing + getting beet red.

It was much subtler than that.

Yes, there was anger. I could feel my mother’s irritation + frustration with my father.

But nothing was ever said.

How often did I wish… “Why don’t you just fight already! Have it out!”

Years later, as I helped clients manage their anger, many were doing what I wished my parents would’ve done – fighting it out (verbally, not physically).

But I realized that my naive wish was actually a destructive one.

A raging war of words is hurtful… Unproductive…  And disastrous role-modeling for children.

Another interesting twist -

My clients kept asking: How can we fight fair?

Me: There is no such thing as fighting fair.

Them: “Why?”

Me: Because when people fight, each person wants to win, no matter what. Their anger creates a hostile environment. They lose respect for each other. Fairness is a non-issue.

Fighting, instead of bottling up frustration, isn’t the answer. And it wouldn’t have helped my parents (who ended up getting divorced).

What needs to happen (+ I made a video about this for you, below) is a shifting of goals. From wanting to fight fair, to resolving disagreements.

This means learning to:

1. Problem-solve

2. Compromise

Five tips to stop the fighting + start resolving disagreements with respect + love.

1.   If you’re fighting, try even just one of the following:

• Respect yourself + others.

• Let go of the need to be right.

• Be open to compromise.

2.   Learn to argue, not fight.

• Arguing is about resolving differences respectfully + with compromise.

• Fighting involves winning at any cost.

3.   Let go of guilt.

Some people want to learn to fight fair because they don’t like the guilt they feel when they fight to get their way.

One way many of them handle their guilt is by withdrawing from their spouse, after a fight, + withholding affection.

They rarely apologize for fighting (to them this would be admitting they were wrong).

But… fighting is wrong, compromise is right.

Compromise supports a fair resolution for both people.

4.   Stop being defensive.

Fear of not being right, + guilt for being wrong can cause some people to be super-sensitive to disagreement.

To handle the fear, they become angry + disrespectful. Discussing the problem or compromise, is not an option.

Keep in mind that compromise can often be the best solution to a problem.

5.   Get help if needed.

When two people never agree + grow apart, consider consulting a qualified professional, like a mediator or a counselor.

xo.

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PS:  How do you handle disagreements with others?

ENJOY THE COMMENTS BELOW OR ADD YOURS

12 Comments
  1. I understand the meaning of “fighting fair” a lot better now. So helpful. Thank you.

  2. Never knew there was a difference between arguing and fighting. That makes a lot of difference. And letting go of guilt is a big one for me. Working on it!

  3. Hi Jake: Great. I hope that understanding helps with achieving any positive relationship goals you may have.

  4. Hi Sarah: Terrific. Guilt is nasty + doesn’t teach us anything. Taking responsibility our behavior + making +ve changes, teaches us a lot!

  5. Don’t want to admit that I’m defensive, but your blog help me realize why.

  6. Hi Jill: Congrats on owning up! A major personal growth step. Glad the blog shed some light. :)

  7. I guess I’d have to say that the person you’re having a disagreement with would need to be willing to communicate. When that doesn’t happen it’s hard to resolve any problems you’re having.

  8. Agree completely with 2 more points: have enough self-respect that no one can put you down and humiliate you and secondly, if dealing with a person with a mental illness such as a socio-path they have no empathy towards what others might be feeling…so then get out of the relationship!

  9. When I was younger, I had to be RIGHT but that LEFT me RIGHT in the MIDDLE of feeling bad. Now, I prefer to be on the SIDE of logic and principles regardless of who presented them.

  10. Hi Lorna: Yes, it takes two willing partners.

    If not, then joint problem-solving is pretty much off the table.

    And…

    That’s when you want carefully assess the situation, while soothing, comforting + supporting yourself through these challenging moments.

  11. Hi AM: Thank you for sharing your important points — powerful + compelling. Spoken like a true warrior!

  12. Hi Ron: Aah, with age comes wisdom! Thank you for sharing.