5 Tips to End the “He said/She said” War
Everyone disagrees, bickers and even fights with their intimate other from time to time. That being said, it’s also useful mention that, it only should happen, OCCASIONALLY, not daily or even weekly. So before you search eBay for a flamethrower, sign up for relationship counseling or run off to join the circus, I have a few tips that might help get to the end of this merry-go-round.
First of all, DON’T BE THIS PERSON. The person(s) who would willingly fight to the death for what they believed was the right course of action; no matter the cost. Sure, everyone goes through that when they are young, and there are situations where this may be warranted but the correct, true, and only direction of toilet paper rolling and where is the precise place to squeeze a tube toothpaste isn’t one of them. AND JUST FYI, when I was younger, I was that person. And I can tell you that the overall cost of that behavior was an enormous waste of energy, time, resources and ultimately it ended my first primary relationship.
Hopefully, we all grow and mature especially from things that are unpleasant for us. If they weren’t unpleasant would ever we learn anything? That being said, there comes a time in each person’s life/relationship where one must ask themselves; “what is it that I am fighting for?”
The 5 Tips
The desire to be right or to be heard or to win can be overwhelming and seductive, but what is the long-term cost of that position or mindset? For many, this adherence to their I AM RIGHT/YOU ARE WRONG position can cost them much more than they realize, i.e., everything. Everyone knows somebody who currently is or recently has been going through this type of situation, and I have some different advice than what may be the norm. So here’s are the 5 Tips you may find useful the next time you and the love of your life decide to go 15 rounds with love of your life.
Tip #1 View Fighting as a Process rather than product or goal
One of the reasons that most people fight/disagree is that they are engaged in a “thought virus” called winning or losing and they are trying to get through this as quickly as possible so they can collect their trophy. Most communication isn’t that cut-and-dried, we frequently meander while we are getting to whatever uncomfortable point we would like to make. What if we took a longer view of arguments as a way of getting to know our friends, family and intimate others at an entirely different level of understanding?
Both men and women communicate very differently using many types of verbal and non-verbal communication cues. Families communicate differently as well. What might work well for one family, and could be the cause increased understanding and in another,fist-a-cuffs or gunfire? Do not assume that what you grew up with or the method that you’ve ALWAYS used before will work now in this unique situation.
What would help here is getting very curious about what your partner is actually saying or NOT SAYING; but is communicating through actions; gestures, facial expressions, etc.. And it may take a while before you understand what they are attempting to communicate. Life is a process; love is a process so are arguments. So if you’re going to argue, take some time and do it right, you may be on the cusp of reaching a new level of understanding with your partner that couldn’t be possible without this conflict. My thought here is; If it’s important enough to fight about it’s important enough to schedule the appropriate time for this event as if it were as important as your anniversary.
Tip #2 Evaluate your Perceptual Position
You may have heard the old adage, walk a mile in someone else’s shoes to really understand them. This statement is a description of literally taking another person’s view of the world. By having this ability, it may be that the person you are at loggerheads with has a valid point that cannot be observed from your current “Self or “First-Position.
Mahatmas Gandhi was one of the best at taking multiple positions before giving a speech or entering into a debate. He literally would setup different chairs to sit in so he could observe the potential objections possible by British, The Hindus and the Moslems affected by his suggestions of change.
Tip #3 Go to Threshold
Time to ask this question. Is winning this argument worth the cost of ending your relationship? Breaking the pattern of arguing, holding grudges and continuing the battle after the cost of the war has bankrupted your relationship is foolish, but it surprises me how many people are willing to do that just to win.
Let your mind go all the way to the ultimate conclusion if this argument continues, so let your imagination run wild about how bad it could get if you and your partner continue to pursue this path. Make a BIG BRIGHT MOVIE of the breakup, moving out, court, divorce, making the kids decide whom they’re going to live with and who they are going to visit on weekends and holidays. Imagine how difficult is going to be running two completely separate households on the incomes that you were using to manage one. Does this sound like fun? Is this really what you want? I didn’t think so.
Tip #4 Fight Naked
If you want things to be different, do different things. One of the funniest suggestions I heard was from a therapist friend of mine who makes her clients do “nude arguments.
They have to do this at a prescribed time in a specified room in their home for a specified period of time. I have another friend of mine (also a therapist) makes his clients fight in the office, but they have to argue in operetta format, where they sing their issues, complaints, and disagreements to/with their spouse.
The goal here is to make the arguments as inconvenient as possible with the most massive possible interruption of your usual “fighting patterns” so the fight will end quickly.
Tip #5 Hire a Mediator
Mediation is a simple solution for lots of issues. The mediation process is so simple that effective conciliation has been taught to kindergarteners as a way of solving playground conflicts and bully issues. The critical point is that there a neutral third party that directs the mediation.
Discussing things even if they get loud is a good thing. If you have a well-formed outcome/intention and a plan, so you know where you want to go with your disagreement, even better. Without a plan, empathy for your partner and the knowledge of when to stop, you’re like that old Chinese saying – “when the blind lead the blind and both soon fall off the cliff” – author unknown.
It’s also useful to know, that no one ever knows, what someone else is going through at any given moment. Treat yourself gently and if possible treat your partner the same way. There is always a solution to any problem if you are willing to take the time to find it.
If you need help disconnecting from an ongoing conflict or you would like a good referee to negotiate; Coaching and mediation sessions are available just contact me via email or call 214-702-3774
Consulting Hypnotist, Speaker, Author, Certified Hypnosis Trainer
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