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Conflict in Relationships - Quit Fighting Dirty

by Patricia Fason

There is no way to avoid it. If you are in a relationship for any length of time, there will be an argument. The question is, do you argue constructively or do you fight dirty?

Arguments happen. No two people will ever agree on every single thing. Here are some things to avoid when in an argument:

  • Don't make the other person feel stupid or inferior because of what they believe. Everyone has a right to their own opinion. Try to respect each other's opinion and when there is no resolution, agree to disagree.

  • Don't resort to name calling, or cussing at the other person. This is a childish response to a heated situation and if you go too far, the other person may have trouble forgiving you.

  • Don't overreact to something that is said. Your partner may not have meant it the way it sounded. Ask for clarification before going off the deep end.

  • Never, ever physically attack the other person! Not only is this unacceptable, you need to realize you can't change a person's opinion by beating your beliefs into them.

Some helpful alternatives:

  • Listen. It's easy to charge in, voice blaring out why you are right and they are wrong without every really hearing what the other person is saying.

  • Deal with the fact that you will not always be right. A common factor in all people is the desire to be right. Understand that sometimes there is no wrong. There are just two different opinions.

  • Control. Some people want control of everything around them, including their partner. If you don't realize that you will never have control over their thoughts and feelings, then neither of you are going to be very happy.

  • Think before you speak. Opening your mouth before you know what words are going to come out can lead to disaster.

  • Cool down. Try to avoid confrontation until you have cooled down. It's easier to think, and react in a favorable way.

ęPatricia Fason

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