10 Rules For Effective Fighting

by Sandra on September 24

10 rules to fightThey say make-up sex is the best kind of sex…

I wouldn’t recommend starting a fight just for the make-up sex, but if you find yourself in the middle of one, following these 10 rules will help you have an effective fight that won’t destroy your relationship (and might give you a chance at that amazing make-up sex).

  1. Don’t make it personal

When you are in a fight, emotions usually run high. It can be extremely frustrating when somebody doesn’t see your point of view, or keeps disagreeing with you, especially if you are right. However, no matter how frustrated you are, do not escalate the fight by making it personal.

Keep the focus on the behavior or fact you are fighting about, and don’t react to the other person making it personal, either. Ignoring personal comments is preferable to getting dragged into the type of fight from which your relationship might not recover.

  1. Don’t drag others into your fight

However tempting it might be to ask others what they think, don’t do it. Especially not if they know or are involved with the person you are fighting with, as well. You are having a fight with one person; let it stay with one person.

If it is about something that regards more than one person, cool down first and discuss it with the entire group at the same time.

  1. Don’t make assumptions

The saying if you make assumptions you make an ass out of you and me” still holds true. Before getting angry because you assume somebody says something hurtful, ask for clarification first. If they really did mean it, there is plenty of time to be mad later. If not, you just saved yourself a whole lot of energy.

  1. Take a cool down period, or a time out, on time

If you feel that your own emotions are starting to cloud your judgment and starting to affect the way you react, tell the person you are talking to that you need a break and walk away to cool down and get your emotions under control.

Don’t walk back into the room halfway out just because you thought of something else to say to them. Really take a break from the argument. Let them know when you will continue the argument, so that they don’t feel you are just walking out on them.

  1. Respect cool down periods and time outs

If the person you are fighting with tells you that they need to think about what you said, or that they need a cool down period, accept that. Don’t walk after them to try and continue arguing. It is ok to ask them when they want to continue talking about the subject, but after that, leave it alone.

  1. Really listen to the other person

This can be a great challenge when you are in a fight, but it is one of the most important things if you want to fight effectively. Most people only hear a few key words and based on that, they are already thinking of their own answer while the other person is still talking. This means that you can miss some key information, misunderstand or have the other person feel like they are not being heard.

If you find yourself doing that, take a deep breath, and really listen to the point your partner is making. Really try to understand their point of view and listen carefully. 9 out of 10 times doing this will stop the fight being a fight and will change it into a discussion instead.

  1. Don’t leave fights unresolved

If you are having an argument don’t just leave it lying on the table ready to be picked up a next time. You can agree with the others, the others agree with you, or agree to disagree, or set another date on which to discuss this topic without a fight, but don’t leave it unresolved or just “forget about it”. Doing that will just make the fight happen again and again.

  1. Do you want to be right or happy?

Yes, I know, a very Dr. Phil-like question. But it’s valid anyway. Is what you are fighting about really worth fighting about? If your friend or loved one would be in an accident, would this fight still matter? If not, let it be. Just let it go. There are more important things in life to worry about then if the dishes are done now or tomorrow morning.

  1. Don’t drag up old subjects

If you are fighting about how much time your partner spends playing Xbox instead of with you, don’t start talking about the time that he had a late night meeting when you were ill. Keep the fighting to the subject of fighting and let old subjects rest. Once you’ve had a fight, it is over. It is done. There is no reason to drag it up again, even if it is vaguely related.

  1. Know what you are really fighting about

It takes a lot of self-knowledge and introspection, but it will make fighting so much more effective. If you are fighting about your partner playing videogames too much, what you really might be saying is “I’m hurt that you ignore me and don’t want to spend time with me.”

Say that. Don’t make them guess or hope that they get it. Know what is really bothering you and communicate that to your partner.

If you suspect that your partner is mad about something more than just the dishes, ask about it. Questions like “how does it make you feel when I don’t do the dishes, even though I promised” will help you get there (although I strongly recommend doing the dishes before asking!)

In the end, fighting in a relationship might be inevitable, but it doesn’t have to turn ugly. Keep in mind that you love this person and want to wake up next to them tomorrow and for the rest of your life, and follow these 10 rules and hurry up so you can have all that great make-up sex!

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Sandra is a 33 year old mother, wife, life coach. As a Dutch national living in Mexico she is trying to find ways to make most out of life. She’s passionate about simplifying life, yet loves her luxuries and non-minimalistic lifestyle.

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