How dirty is your fighting style? Want to learn how to fight fair?

We have posted before about the value of fighting with love instead of anger. Using calm dialogue and speaking with respect (“fighting” with “love”) is always a better option during conflict; fighting fire with fire, with the aim of someone winning and someone losing, instills this idea that everything is a competition, and that one person is always better than the other.

In your mutual search for love and connection (or just a healthy work/friend relationship), competition is exactly the thing that you don’t want!

The trouble is, we are conditioned in our society to think that a fight is the same thing as a war, with lines drawn and battles fought. Instead, let us think of a fight as a conflict in which there is some need not being addressed, and the two people involved have to work together to discover how to satisfy that need.

We think fighting to win serves us because it gives us more “power.” However, where does power really come from?  Power comes from knowing what everyone’s needs are, and having enough (mutual) control over the situation to realize how you can satisfy each other’s needs. Real power is the ability to resolve conflict and walk away having learned something. Fake power is dominating the other person, putting them down, and thus frustrating their need to be understood as well your need to understand.

Here is a comparison and contrast of a work conflict process:

Fighting with the aim to win Fair fighting/confrontation with dialogue
Confronting the person in front of everyone Saying: Can I talk with you privately?
You don’t do your job quick enough, there will be consequences if you don’t start delivering results We are falling behind in our delivery time
You’re never on time, you’re always behind It happened the last three consecutive Fridays
Not to mention that other behavior; whatever happened other time; and this other person said this about you… Focus on the task at hand, don’t become sidetracked, or use gossip
I’m going to dock your pay until you bring your performance back up to par. Why is this happening? What do you think would be a solution?
Just make sure it doesn’t happen again. So, we have decided that if you see a problem which could cause a delay, your first task is to let me know so we can work on a solution together, right?

And here is a personal/romantic conflict process:

Fighting to win Fair fighting/conflict with dialogue
Fighting in public, or in front of family/friends Say: Can we talk alone?
Why are you being so rude/horrible/unfair/mean? Did I do something to upset you?
I can’t believe you would say such a thing It’s understandable that you feel that way, considering…
You always over react and blame me for your problemsORI only did that because you…

(here recall some past event where the other person looked bad)

However, remember last week, we had a similar argument, and we realized it was because of a misunderstanding about…ORI didn’t mean to sound that way, I intended to share my feelings in a different way
You’re the one that does this or that, and never can do this, while I’m trying to be there for you Have you been feeling this way about me for a while?
I’m not going to change everything about myself so that you can be happy. If you have a problem, that’s your fault. Deal with it! So we’ve agreed that we are both still learning how to communicate without fighting… We’ve agreed I will work on this, and you will work on that…ORI appreciate you telling me about how you feel. I apologize for being unclear. Next time, I will remember to try this…

Would you like more information about handling conflict with respect, as well as more techniques you and your partner can use if you are having trouble refraining from fighting with anger? Let us help you get started! Click this link to receive a free coaching session with Coach Nora, and you’ll soon be on your way to respectful sharing of ideas, opinions, and emotions!

To your happiness!

Neil Warner

Neil Warner

I’m the “relationship guru,” and my main focus is to increase the quality of love-based relationship experiences. In this ground-breaking guide I offer useful strategies on healing a difficult angry relationship with love and compassion. You don’t have to stay in an unhealthy relationship one more minute. Let us share our tools with you today.

We can begin by you having a complimentary consultation (by clicking here), with a plan for action to change your life with new skills included. Just click this link and get started now!


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