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FFF Thursday Tip
Here are some strategies you can use to have a productive argument.
Set rules which may include:
no name calling;
being respectful towards the other person no matter how angry you are;
allowing for time out when things feel like they are getting out of control.
The idea is to work together to make fighting with each other safe, both emotionally and physically.
Fighting dirty erodes the goodwill and trust you have in each other and over time, can seriously damage your relationship.
It is wise to accept that you will have conflict at different points in your relationships with others and that it would be of benefit to find ways to have these productively. Here is a question you can ask yourself:
What is the outcome I want from this discussion?
Asking yourself this question helps you focus on how you want things to be when you are finished the discussion. Your answer may include a practical outcome but also needs to take into account the outcome you want for the state of your relationship at the end of the discussion/conflict. For example, “I want us to be speaking to each other respectfully when we finish our talk.” Or, “I want to feel good towards my partner/friend/colleague when we have completed our talk.”
Thinking about the outcome will help you stay focused on what is important to you, which is not just about the issue you are discussing or fighting about, but the emotional wellness of your relationship as a whole.