Regardless of how much you love each other and work at your relationships, there are bound to be arguments. I mean come on if someone says their relationship is perfect they are lying either to you or to themselves. Think about everyone is different so there are bound to be some bumps in the road. When fights do occur, it shouldn’t be a free-for-all, winner takes all. Just like every other “game” in life, there are rules to fighting fair. These rules everyone should abide by if they want to remain in a happy relationship.
Choose your timing
As soon as they hit the door from work, that is not the time to pounce like a cat. Don’t nag that they forgot to take the trash out or that their beer cans are over the house. It takes real self-discipline to hold your tongue, especially those mean words are just bursting to come out of your mouth. When we barge in without taking into consideration the mental state of the other person, we inevitably make the argument much larger than it needs to be.
Use “I” language
We’ve all heard this, but it bears repeating. The other person is immediately defensive when a sentence starts with “You do ___ and I don’t like it….” It’s just human nature because it feels like we are being attacked. But keep in mind that no one can make us feel anything – only we ourselves can do that. So, switch your “you’s” to “I’s.” Say something like, “I feel ___ when you do ___.” It’s not just words thrown out there, it shows that you are in charge of your feelings. You are focusing on the feelings instead of the behavior you don’t like. This mindset can go a long way to having a healthy relationship.
Focus on the now
It’s so easy to get all worked up and start pulling out grievances from years ago. Most people tend to argue about the same type of issue over and over. For example, money and parenting issues are common, even in the most loving relationships. Take care to avoid bringing up the past, especially past relationships. And, if one does slip out, say I am sorry ( I know hard words) and come back to the present issue.
Never say never
This connects with the tip above. When you start throwing around words like always and never, you are in dangerous territory. It’s usually a huge overstatement that escalates the fight and does not accomplish anything, including rectifying the situation.
So tell me are these rules helpful? Do you have others you would like to add?