12 Tips For Fighting Fair
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12 Tips For Fighting Fair

Here are 12 things to keep in mind next time you get into an argument.

  • Speak from an "I" position. (I Think, I feel, I believe, I wish, I fear) When used correctly an "I" position will convey your point of view without putting the other person down. 
  • Sort out who owns the problem. Get clear on the boundaries of individual responsibility. Let other people own their own problems and take responsibility for their own reactions.
  • Avoid below -the belt tactics. (e.g., blaming, diagnosing, labeling, analyzing, preaching, ordering, or lecturing) Don't criticize or blame others.
  • Confine yourself to one issue at a time. Always stay in the here-and-now. Bringing up the past is a diversionary tactic. There may be a time to discuss past grievances but not during a fight.
  • Talk in specifics. Avoid generalities and vague complaints. If the other person is vague request clarification, including specific examples.
  • Avoid mind-reading. Never assume you or your partner know or should know what has not been explicitly stated in words.
  • A cold withdrawal is dirty fighting; Taking time out to clear and recenter your thoughts is reasonable and fair.
  • Listen carefully to others and be receptive to feedback. If you begin to get defensive, go into "active listening"
  • learn to apologize quickly when an apology is due, and before things escalate. Also learn to say, "I don't know," "I'm not sure," "I'm not clear," and "I need more time to to sort out where I stand on that subject"
  • Never tell another person what they think or feel, or "should" think or feel. If another attacks your thoughts and feelings, you do not need to provide logical arguments to back them. Better to calmly say, "This may sound crazy or irrational to you, but this is the way i feel".
  • Learn to appreciate that there are multiple realities. If you are fighting who has "The Truth", You may be missing the point. Differing views of reality and conflicting wishes and preferences don't mean one person is "wrong"/
  • Remember the only person you can change is yourself. Don't try to change or control another person. It doesn't work.

Thank you for your time and be the best you, you can be.


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