There’s no way, no matter how ‘perfectly’ made for each other, that two people who love each other would not fight. It is often said that the closer you are to people, the more likely they are to step on your toes. I guess that’s logical because you interact more frequently with them and are perhaps most vulnerable emotionally with them.
Having a healthy relationship involves having skills for a healthy fight. Conflict resolution is extremely important. Having a friendly/healthy fight involves dealing with the actual issue in the relationship and not simply the symptoms. The last thing you want is that after you fought with your partner the issue would have gotten worse because of hurt feelings.
Okay, enough of analyzing the reasons why you are most likely to fight but let’s dive in on how to have a healthy fight without having an angry partner, threats, name calling or perhaps a damaged relationship.
“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.” Matthew 18:15
7 Rules to having a Healthy Fight
1. Understand that it is Needed: Conflicts are bound to happen and as a matter of fact they are needed in relationships. Conflict means that there are things about each other that still need to be learned. You may think you have your partner figured out but engaging in conflict may reveal some things you never knew and need to know to progress in the relationship. It also show us that there is room for growth.
2. Attack the issue and not your partner: It is unnecessary to attack your partner by being mean and hurtful. Before you begin to yell or act according to your emotions, take some time and ask yourself rationally “why am I really angry?”. Do remember that by being hurtful to your partner, after the conflict has been resolved, you will still have a resentful partner to deal with.
3. Listen Carefully: When we are angry , the last thing we want to do is calm down to really listen to the other person, we are more prone to be in attack-mode. It takes wisdom to realize that you are not making progress by not listening and always yelling. When women and men fight their thought process differs. Listening in on a couple’s fight you will notice that a woman will state how she ‘feels’ but the man would try to be ‘logical’. Meet halfway and try to really listen to what is being said.
4. Lower your volume/ Talk gently ( really hard by the way): When angry the last thing you may want to do is to lower your volume. We tend to think that by yelling the other person would realize the extent to which they have hurt us. If you begin a yelling match, the less likely you are to be heard by the person and they may resort to being defensive. By fighting we don’t want to build walls up between our partners, but be unified in tearing the walls down 🙂
5. Try not to blame: When you begin to blame your partner they may become defensive and shut you out. The blame-game does not get you anywhere (Well … maybe two steps back!). Really try hard not to attack the person’s character but the issue. A tip is to avoid pointing fingers and saying “you”. For example instead of saying “You always get me angry and you never understand me!” try “I always get angry when I am not understood.”
6. Get specific: By using words such as “always” and “never”, you may not get your point made. Give examples of specific instances of ‘when’, for clarity. Saying things like “You never show me love and always make me feel bad” are rarely true because those statements are absolute. Be more specific and give examples.
7. Find point of agreement and Make Peace: There are almost always parts of a conflict that can be points of agreement. Finding common ground, even if it’s agreeing that there is a problem, is an important start to finding the much needed solution.
Making peace is very vital in a relationship even if it means sacrificing your ego.
Matthew 5:24 : Leave your gift at the altar. First go away and make peace with that person. Then come back and offer your gift.
Post Credits: This Post has been written and submitted by Alma Achonu.