Fight….against ineffective fighting

Many of us are in relationship. Sometimes fights to occur, inevitably. Try as we may, fights cannot ever seem to be completely avoided. During and after a fight it is likely that each individual can feel badly about themselves as well as their partner. Feelings of worthlessness/low self esteem, sadness and alienation, isolation are typical when you and your partner are arguing and are angry or even furious at each other.

Hear are some tips to avoid colossal meltdown or over-extension of a fight.

“I feel” statements: One way of defusing a fight is to express your feelings using “I feel” statements. Telling your partner that he or she is a jerk and that “you piss me off” or some similar accusation, is not likely to connect. More likely this would inflame the situation and not help connect to one another. Even when you think you are expressing your feelings by saying” you make me feel…”, this is still not completely taking ownership of your feelings and accusing the other. Indeed, the “you make me feel” approach will make your partner feel blamed. If you say I feel sad when you criticize me” for example, you allow your partner to take in how your feeling without blaming or accusing (which would only fan the flames of fight). Try to understand each other. Try not to blame.

Empathize, empathize, empathize! It cannot be said enough. Try your best to understand and even appreciate the other’s point of view. Use active listening which is in large part, listening and repeating pack to your partner what they have said in your own words. This serves to show the other that you are listening and that you appreciate/understand what they are saying. It also helps you to confirm that you do in fact understand what your partner is saying. This helps put you both on the same page. It also makes your mate feel understood, appreciated, supported.

Things to avoid when in the midst of a fight that are inflammatory and hurtful and basically make it hard to stop fighting.  Name calling (You’re a [insert expletive here]), dehumanizing or humiliating comments (you’re pathetic, you’re stupid) , exaggerating (i.e. you’re the worst person I know), negative feelings that you are only feeling in the moment (I hate you, I hope you drop dead, etc.).

Lastly, if you dislike something about your mate, be sure to describe the behavior itself, separating it from the person. You may be annoyed by you’re partners bad habit, but remember that you still appreciate and care for him or her. So feel free to express your feeling that the behavior is intolerable, while not forgetting that you still care deeply for the person you’re with.

Nobody’s perfect, and this becomes all too clear throughout your relationship.  There may be times when all these good relational practices go out the window and you wind up fighting. Just try to keep  each other’s feelings in mind. Good communication and mutual support for one another will be your relationship’s most important and healing strength.

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