How to Fight Right

It's inevitable that there will be disagreements in any relationship. When they come up, it can be easy to think that things must not be right because if they were, why don't you agree on what movie to Redbox, or which restaurant to go to on a Friday, or who's house to go to for Thanksgiving? It's because we're all imperfect people -- we have selfish tendencies, quirks, and imperfections that make communication challenging. It doesn't necessarily mean that things are doomed to fail. Trust me. So, when disagreements or conflicts come up, here are some things that you can do to "fight right" with your significant other:

  1. Focus only on your own feelings/thoughts. Express yourself clearly and calmly.

  2. Focus on one thing at a time. Bringing up a lot of issues at once likely won't get anything resolved.

  3. Don't use overgeneralizing phrases like "You always" one does the same thing ALL the time, after all.

  4. Don't assume you know what the other person is thinking/feeling. We're all sensitive to different things. Also, don't assume that someone's bad behavior is intentional, they could just be used to doing something a certain way and are not aware that it hurts your feelings.

  5. Pick your battles. Not everything is worth a sit down conversation. Sometimes you just have realize that everyone has something imperfect about them and you can choose to take it or leave it.

  6. Wait until you're calm to bring things up. When you're emotional, things get blown out of proportion and we tend to overreact dramatically, totally defeating the purpose of our conversation in the first place. No Bueno.

  7. Offer a suggestion that could help improve the situation.

  8. Ask your significant other what they think about the things you've expressed and the suggestions you've offered. Then LISTEN, and see how a conclusion can be reached.