How to Have a Good Fight
††††††††† A fight is constructive when it produces new information, recognizes and resolves current conflict, reminds both parties of existing tolerance limits, provides release of tension without injury (psychological or physical), maintains ďconnectionĒ and prevents alienation.
††††††††† To have a good fight, certain rules must be followed:
1.††††††† Fight by mutual consent.††††† Donít insist on a fight at a time when one of you canít handle
††††††††† this type of strain.† A good fight demands two ready partners.
2.††††††† Stay in the present.†† Donít dredge up past mistakes and faults about which you can
††††††††† do nothing.
3.††††††† Stick to the subject. Limit this fight to this subject.† Donít throw every other ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† problem into it; take them one at a time.
4.††††††† Donít hit below the belt. In your lives together you will discover each otherís sensitive
††††††††† areas.† Donít abuse this knowledge.
5.††††††† Donít try to win, ever. Win/lose fights build resentments, which accumulate, about
††††††††† the relationship.† There is no winner and loser in a good fight; rather, both can win or both ††††††††† lose.
6.††††††† Donít quit; work it out. Bring the fight to a mutual conclusion.† Otherwise, it will
††††††††† just recur again and again.
7.††††††† Respect crying. Crying is a valid response to how you feel and how the other
††††††††† feels, but donít let crying sidetrack you.† Sometimes it is a signal for a time-out.
8.††††††† No violence. Physical violence violates all of the above rules for fighting by
††††††††† mutual consent.
††††††††† Try to keep the following in mind:
1.††††††† Establish a mutually agreeable time to talk.
2.††††††† State your issue.
3.††††††† Recognize your own feelings.
4.††††††† Ask for feedback to ensure the other person is understanding you.
5.††††††† Acknowledge accurate feedback.
6.††††††† Request the specific change(s) you want.
7.††††††† Give feedback to ensure you are understanding what the other person has said.
8.††††††† Ask for a response (not the same as feedback).
Is Fighting Healthy?
††††††† All relationships have conflict.† It is healthy to have conflict, and healthy couples do fight.† One difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships is the way couples resolve inevitable conflict.† People in healthy relationships tend to fight in a style that is more constructive than destructive.† The following identifies some constructive and destructive fight styles.† Where do you fit?