Conflict between human beings happens. It happens between adults, between children and even between adults and children. So how do we learn to fight fair?
An article I found from the University of Texas at Austin gives some great ideas on how to have conflict in a ‘fair’ way.
Here are some of their suggestions:
- Deal with only one issue at a time: Stay focused on only one topic. Focus on that one issue until you have resolved it agree to disagree. Then move to the next issue.
- Avoid accusations: Like Donna talked about last week, use the ‘I messages’ and talk about how it makes you feel. Refrain from using the word ‘you’ as much as possible.
- Avoid clamming up: Get the issue out. When you stop communicating about what the issue is it can’t possibly be resolved. Shutting down or becoming silent doesn’t make the issue go away. Keep talking. If you need to take a break, do so but commit to coming back and finishing the conversation.
For more suggestions read the whole article from the University of Texas at Austin.
Share your ‘fighting fair’ techniques with us here!
2 thoughts on “Let’s Fight Fair”
For my husband and I Step 4 on the Fair Fighting: Step by Step is critical. With three teens at home and two older children already out of the house it often feels like most of the time we are playing tag team between doctor’s appointments, sporting events, work, school and long distance communication with our older children. The hurried few minutes between activities, in general, is not a good time to air differences. Setting time aside to discuss topics that are accompanied by strong emotions communicates to each other that not only is the topic important but so it the other person.
You are so right – it’s not productive to air differences when we are tired, hungry, or in a hurry. Arranging a calm time for the discussion will put you on the path to resolving the issue.