The Rules for fighting fair
It can sometimes be very hard not lose it. You are over heated frustrated and your mate (or your kids, the customer service rep etc) gets on your last nerve and pushes the button that has you going postal. In a new study out of Harvard University that says (and I paraphrase), “the person that can manage their moods and firmly articulate their position in negotiation is one of the secrets of successful people”. I am more succinct. I tell my kids “that the calmest person in the room always wins”.
So besides doing all the things I mentioned above to lower your stress levels, what are rules to argue with your make?
Here is my list of the things I think couples need to be aware of when you catch yourself having the same fight over and over again. It may not be that you can’t resolve the issue, the process may be part of what’s tripping you up.
1. Do it in private and keep it private.
2. Make it relevant. Don’t bring up stuff left over for 10 years ago. And on this note, don’t stockpile so your partner is hit with a laundry list of issues.
3. No name calling or character assassination. In my case this also includes no sticking out of tongues.
4. Allow your partner (or whomever you are fighting with) to retreat with dignity. This doesn’t mean that you get to make a parting “shot” on your way to cool off.
5. Give the fight a time limit. No re-hashing the issues over and over until you both get entrenched. Agree to a time out.
6. Finally, no bad language or blaming. If you can keep your cool you’ll help the other person find a solution.