Guidelines for Fair Fighting
When we have a disagreement, the outcome can be positive if we work through it together. Constructive confrontation can be life-giving for your relationship. Below are some helpful guidelines.
1. Your relationship is more important than any issue. Keep your discussion focused on each other, not the issue. Confront to understand, not to win.
2. Stay physically close. Showing affection can show you care. Eye contact helps.
3. Keep it between the two of you. A parent, friend or co-worker has no part in your confrontation.
4. Avoid absolutes. Phrases like “you always” or “you never” are almost never true, and rarely helpful.
5. Don't place blame. It only drives a wedge between you. Move forward and don't look back.
6. Avoid name-calling/character assassination. Treat each other with respect and gentleness.
7. Avoid sarcasm and criticism. Both are hurtful and damaging to your relationship.
8. Finish the discussion - Avoid walking away, even though it can be difficult. Tears are okay, but don't use them as a weapon or to end confrontation. Be sensitive. If you can't come to a resolution, kiss and commit to revisit the discussion later.
9. Sometimes it may be best to postpone the confrontation. When one or both is too tired, out of control, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or looking for revenge.