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October 9, 2013

How to Fight Fair


Fights are an inevitable part of any relationship. In fact, the occasional fight can be healthy for a relationship. It can enable you to express emotions and needs that otherwise wouldn’t be addressed. But there’s an art to keeping your fight fair. Follow these tips to keep your bickering from turning into a blowout.

Don’t Escalate

The fight is on, emotions are running high, and it can be very tempting to start waving your arms and yelling. But as long as the two of you remain calm and talk, the fight can’t spin out of control. If you’re both yelling, no one is going to get their point across. It can also have some damaging effects on your relationship because you might say something hurtful that your partner will have a hard time forgetting. Keep it civil so you can really communicate.

Don’t Hold the Relationship Hostage

Don’t start threatening to break up in the middle of the argument. For that matter, don’t even say things like, “This isn’t working for me,” or “I can’t do this anymore.” It’s a cheap way to gain the upper hand, and not only is it hurtful, you might end up with an actual break-up on your hands, even if you didn’t really want it. Find another way to express your feelings without resorting to emotional blackmail.

Take Some Space

If it looks like the fight is spiraling out of control, take a walk around the block so that you both get the chance to calm down and get some perspective. Usually by the time you get home, you’ll be able to work out your issues.

But Don’t Take Too Much Space

Don’t take off and hit the bars with your friends, or spend several hours avoiding the fight. That’s only going build resentment, which is probably going to lead to another fight. Taking off and hoping the conflict disappears isn’t going to solve anything. Have to the courage to address the issue at hand.

Don’t Be Too Proud to Apologize

There is nothing, absolutely nothing, weak about admitting that you were wrong. Your pride isn’t worth the relationship, and you have nothing to gain by dragging out the conflict with your stubbornness. It’s a rare fight where only one of the fighters needs to apologize at the end. So suck it up and say you’re sorry. If you admit that you were wrong but your partner refuses, give it some time. Don’t flip out and start yelling again, just let it come naturally. If they never apologize, even though they were obviously wrong, try bringing it up calmly at a later date. Explain why your feelings are hurt. If they still won’t apologize, you might be dealing with someone with pride issues.

Let It Go

You shouldn’t completely forget everything you’ve learned from the fight, but the argument brought out fierce emotions that you should purge from your system. Let everything go and move on. Makeup sex is one incredible way to do this, but you could also go out to a late-night diner or watch a movie. Don’t dwell on it, just let it go.

Fights don’t need to mean the end of the relationship, nor do they guarantee a drawn-out, several-day problem. By keeping things above the belt, it’s much more likely to end amicably.

About the Author

Lauren Volpe
Lauren Volpe is a recent graduate of Texas State University with a BA in English Literature with a Minor in Anthropology. She is now a freelance writer. She is passionate about writing and studying human interactions. She enjoys giving relationship advice built on her personal history, and the experiences of her friends and family. She currently resides in San Marcos, Texas.

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