Four Tips for Productive Fighting

Posted on March 8, 2013

Couples fight.  That’s a fact.  But it’s the way you fight that’s important.  Many couples yell and scream with no resolution.  Some couples get frustrated with one another but don’t say anything.  Some couples let the awkwardness of being angry float away until it feels like things are better.  And some couples fight productively.

These couples know that fighting is a part of relationship but work hard to resolve their conflict and not let it affect other areas of their relationship.  Below you will find four tips for productive fighting that will help you manage your conflict and resolve your arguments. 

Tip One: Know that fighting is okay.

Regardless of the way you fight, know that fighting is normal.  It would be unrealistic to expect a couple to never fight.  Think about how your parents fought.  Was it loud?  Did they fight secretly?  Did it seem like they never fought?  Now, think about how you fight.  Is it similar or different?  What could you do differently than your parents to make your arguments more productive?

Tip Two: Refrain from bringing up a subject that could cause a fight at an inappropriate time.

If you are both stressed from long days at work, in a public place, or about to walk out the door, try to hold yourself back from starting a fight.  Give yourself more time to process how you are feeling at the moment and think of a time when it would be appropriate to talk to your partner about your feelings.  The more you take responsibility for your emotions the more likely your argument will be resolved.  Relationships involve two people.  You are a part of the fight.  Your partner is not solely responsible.

Tip Three: Take time to cool down.

If you or your partner needs a break while fighting, take it.  It’s okay to walk away and ask for time to think.  It’s not okay to argue with one another for days on end.  Know that having time to think allows you to process what has been said.  Try to see your partner’s view even if it’s incredibly hard.  Find a time in the next 24 hours to come back and continue talking about the argument.  Notice that I said talking, not yelling.  You should be much more able to talk and resolve your argument after time away.

Tip Four: Find a resolution.

The key to productive fighting is finding resolution.  Don’t let frustrations and fighting blow over even if that means coming back to the same argument several times until resolution is found.  This helps deepen your relationship and tighten your bond.  Fighting is actually a means of connection, so fight until you resolve.  Come back a million times to the topic if necessary.  Each time, try to speak differently or see your partner’s point of view differently.  You need to make small changes to find resolution, and overtime, you will find that having a productive fight brings you closer together.

 

Kristie L. Watts, LMFTA

Kristie is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate at Groff and Associates Counseling.  Her passions are parent child relationships, adolescent females, and grief and loss.   If you are interested in seeing a counselor and think that Kristie would be a good fit, please contact her at kristie@groffandassociates.com.

 

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NzE6Imh0dHA6Ly9ncm9mZmFuZGFzc29jaWF0ZXMuY29tL3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvMy1ncm9mZl9oZWFkZXIucG5nIjt9PC9saT48L3VsPg==