It hit me one day when discussing a fight one of my girlfriends had had with her boyfriend… My boyfriend and I had never had a fight. Sure, we had our disagreements and there were certainly times when we didn’t see eye to eye, however, this had never resulted in a typical girlfriend/boyfriend fight. I would be lying if I said my relationship was perfect, and there are some interests and lifetime goals both big and small that we end up on opposite sides of the spectrum regarding, but no matter how different our views may be, we choose to talk it out. And when I say talk it out, I mean TALK. No yelling, no name calling, no negative tones, no storming off, no pointing fingers. In the same light, there is no brushing the issues under the carpet either.
It took a long time to get here. Past relationships would result in ongoing arguments that would escalate to fighting. They very much involved pointing the finger and placing blame. If you expect for your significant other to actually LISTEN to you, then you need to speak to them in a way that to them, is worth listening to. As soon as we begin to point fingers in statements such as, “You don’t do this”, “I don’t like when you do this” we automatically disregard any responsibility we might have in the problem, and place full blame onto the other person. It takes time and practice to get in touch with your inner self and learn to talk to others as you wish to be spoken to. Sure, I’ve flown off the handle before, I’ve been in sour moods before, I’ve lashed out before. One thing I have done with this current relationship and what I hope to continue to do is that when things like this do happen, I apologize. I am lucky that these scenarios have not happened often as I have learned to analyze situations prior to reacting to them, which allows me to fully understand what exactly is bothering me, to differentiate whether it is a NEED or a WANT, and to decide what exactly I wish to gain from having the conversation. It is based on this analysis that the lack of fighting has occurred within my current relationships both with significant others, friends and family.
With that said, what SHOULD we do to avoid a full-fledged fight? Firstly, it is important, as mentioned earlier, to decide whether the reason as to why you are upset is a need or a want. If it is a want, it is important to give the scenarios some serious thought, which is where the idea of “choose your battles” comes into play. If it is a need, meaning that the situation is very important to you and you may not be able to shake how upset, sad, angry or disappointed you are without discussing it, then one must choose to discuss the issue in a calm and appropriate manner. After making the decision and discovering that the issue at hand is a need, then one must figure out why exactly it is upsetting you and to think of possible solutions to the problem. It is upon seriously analyzing your feelings and thoughts and deciding why you are upset and how you might feel better about the situation that you would present the issue to your significant other (or anyone you might have an issue with for that matter). And lastly, once all you’ve had to say had been said, it is important to bring the conversation back to your relationship, why it is important and what you can do yourself to improve your role in the partnership. This also provides the other person an opportunity to say anything they might be holding on to or upset about that can then be discussed and resolved. It sounds so simple when in hind-sight, it’s much more difficult to take the time to go over the situation and analyze how you might present it, then to simply react and say the first thing that comes to mind when regarding the issue.
At the end of the day, who wants to fight anyway? It’s way too much effort, it causes way too much drama, and do we end up with what we want in the end? For the most part, I would like to say no. So put that blame finger away, take a step forward and present yourself with honesty. With practice, only good things should come your way.
Image from: http://livenlearn87.hubpages.com/hub/10-Reason-Why-it-Might-be-Time-to-End-Your-Relationship