Sunday, May 20, 2012

L L F M D: Learn to fight fair

7. Learn to fight fair.

This is a tough one, sweetheart. It took me a long time to figure it out, and even now, I slip sometimes. It happens. In the midst of an argument, when things get heated, you aren't exactly thinking clearly. But it is very important to try to fight fair.

Phrases that start with "You never..." or "You always..." are a big no-no. Give the person you are fighting with some credit. If they are an important part of your life, chances are they are doing something right. Leave the past in the past and don't bring up old mistakes and arguments. Instead of placing all the blame on the other person, look at yourself, too. Something like this always works better than in your face blame: "I know you try not to...but when makes me feel..." or "I know it bothers you when I...I really try not to...It would help me if you..."

Get to the core of the issue and compromise. Figure out how you can make the situation better for both of you. If you can't do that in the heat of the moment, walk away. Or let the other person walk away. (This is particularly hard for me to do because I want to talk it out right away.) But when you've both calmed down, figure it out. Lay it all out there. Tell the other person how you feel and what you need. And then let them do the same. Really let them. And listen closely. I promise you'll make a lot more progress that way.

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