Dec 09

4/13 Rules to Fight Fair in Conflict Solutions

So far in our Conflict Solutions blog, we have seen that conflict is unavoidable.  It’s how we handle it that is the question.  We have presented suggestions on learning to listen to the other person.  Another helpful guideline was the 20 Suggestions to face the Storm

Now we gather a list of helpful hints when conflict erupts into something that seems overwhelming.  I suggest you print out this page and put it on your frig or somewhere you can see it often!

We all experience conflict.  It starts in our childhood, comes with our jobs and is present in our families and all relationships.  To be human, is to experience friction in our relationships with others.

We all handle conflict differently.  Some people withdraw from any sign of strife.  Other people enter the circle of dispute without hesitation.

There is no doubt that conflict can be destructive but it can also be constructive.  It all depends on the way we handle such friction.

The following are some suggested guidelines to help keep conflicts within the bonds of learning to have “FAIR FIGHTS”.  When we learn better methods of fighting fairly, we can turn conflict into constructive ways of building relationships rather than tearing relationships apart with our words.

Here are some Guidelines for facing those conflicts and Fighting Fair:

1. Be clear and specific on the issues you are fighting about.  Rather than just complain, ask for reasonable change to relieve the conflict.

2. Confine yourself to one issue at a time.

3. Select the best time and place for discussions.

4. Try not to be glib or understate your partner’s feelings, needs or comments.

5. Be careful of generalised statements: “You always……..”

6. Never assume you know what your partner is thinking.  Always check out any assumptions without “mind-reading”.

7. Avoid dirty fighting tactics such as:

a. SARCASM and snide remarks,

b. Withdrawing from discussions to avoid resolution,

c. Dragging up past guilt,

d. Giving hints instead of stating needs, issues,

e. Putting labels on your partner, ie. ‘coward’, ‘childish’,

f. Avoid deliberately using tears or violence to manipulate the other person.

8. Use “I” messages rather than “You make me …”,

9. Remember to talk about the good in your relationship as well as the bad points.

10. Have some positive suggestions, compromises to help resolve the issues.

11. Try not to overload your partner with grievances.  This often causes hopelessness.

12. Learn to spot and work on your own fight styles and weaknesses.  Improve your own communication methods.

Remember the aim for this discussion is for both partners to win more truth, intimacy and understanding.  When only one wins a fight, the fight has really been lost for both people.

In our next post, we will talk about ‘Assertiveness’, what it means and how to learn how to be assertive in a healthy way.  Join us then,

Susanne Fengler. Blog Author

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