Conflict is inevitable in any relationship, but how you handle it can make a big difference. Fighting fairly means respecting your partner’s feelings, listening to their perspective, and finding a solution that works for both of you. Here are some tips on how to fight fairly in a relationship:
Don’t attack your partner’s character or personality. Focus on the specific behavior or situation that bothers you, and use “I” statements to express your feelings. For example, instead of saying “You’re so selfish and lazy”, say “I feel hurt and frustrated when you don’t help me with the chores”.
Don’t bring up the past. Stick to the current issue and don’t dredge up old arguments or grievances. If you have unresolved issues from the past, deal with them separately and at a different time.
Don’t interrupt or talk over your partner. Give them a chance to speak and listen attentively to what they have to say. Try to understand their point of view and acknowledge their feelings. Repeat back what you heard them say to make sure you understood correctly.
Don’t use name-calling, insults, sarcasm, or threats. These are forms of verbal abuse and can damage your relationship. They also distract from the real issue and escalate the conflict. Instead, use respectful and constructive language and tone.
Don’t walk away or shut down. If you need a break from the argument, let your partner know and agree on a time to resume the discussion. Don’t just storm off or give them the silent treatment. This can make your partner feel abandoned or ignored.
Don’t try to win or prove your point. The goal of fighting fairly is not to win or be right, but to resolve the conflict and improve your relationship. Be willing to compromise and find a middle ground that satisfies both of you.
Fighting fairly can help you and your partner communicate better, understand each other more, and strengthen your bond. Remember that you are on the same team and that you love each other. By following these tips, you can turn a fight into an opportunity for growth and intimacy.
How do you know when you are fighting fairly? Here are some signs that you are on the right track:
You feel heard and understood by your partner.
You respect and empathize with your partner’s feelings.
You take responsibility for your own actions and apologize when you are wrong.
You work together to find a solution that meets both of your needs.
You end the fight with a hug, a kiss, or a positive affirmation.
How do you know when you are fighting unfairly? Here are some signs that you need to change your approach:
You feel attacked or criticized by your partner.
You dismiss or invalidate your partner’s feelings.
You blame your partner for everything and refuse to admit your mistakes.
You insist on having your way or being right at all costs.
You end the fight with resentment, anger, or bitterness.
If you notice that you are fighting unfairly, don’t despair. You can always learn new skills and habits to improve your communication and conflict resolution. You can also seek professional help from a therapist or a counselor if you need more guidance and support. Fighting fairly is not easy, but it is worth it.