Disagreements are always going to happen within couples. Sometimes if feels like we really need a referee to get us through some conflicts! It’s important to work through these situations in a healthy way to make sure each person is heard and understood. Here are some Fair Fighting guidelines you can use to make sure that the next argument ends up in resolutions.
- Identify why you are feeling upset and what emotions you are having.
- Pick one topic to discuss instead of bringing up different ones at the same time.
- Focus more on the present moment instead of bringing things up from the past.
- Do not call each other names or be degrading. Also, keeping your voices at a calm and low tone. No yelling!
- Use words to express yourself and focus on “I-statements” where you are taking responsibility for your own feelings and actions.
- Don’t overgeneralize such as “You ALWAYS do this”, “You NEVER do this”.
- Take turns speaking. If this is difficult, use a timer or pass an object to take turns. This has been something that has worked in couples sessions for me!
- Don’t refuse to speak which is called “stonewalling”. Essentially putting up a wall between you and your partner.
- Take a time-out BUT have a time limit when you can come back and continue the discussion.
- Come to an agreement or compromise in the end or at least see the other person’s perspective.
What rules do you make to get through arguments with your partner in a healthy way? Comment below!
Check out my post on the THINK skill for more tips on maintaining a healthy relationship!