Most of us would avoid fighting if we could. After all, it’s not very comfortable. However, personal growth is often attained through some kind of challenge. Fighting
fairly and skillfully is the key to allowing conflict to serve us rather than do harm. Answer the following questions to discover if you are fighting fairly.
1. When people hurt me or make me angry, I’m likely to fight back or be defensive.
2. If someone brings up a subject I don’t want to discuss, I ignore him or her, or refuse to talk about it.
3. I tend to build up resentments over time, and then let them all out in one big blow-up.
4. I sometimes cut people out of my life when they don’t agree with me or give me what I want.
5. I’ll be taken advantage of or hurt if I show any vulnerability.
6. I withhold love and connection when I don’t get my way.
7. I try to get more support for my point of view by getting others on my side.
8. I have a tendency to “leak” my resentments rather than being open and direct about my feelings.
1. I use “I” statements to express my feelings and thus avoid blaming and telling the other person what he or she feels.
2. I am committed to listening and being open-heartedly curious when quarreling so that I can truly understand what the other person is feeling, thinking and experiencing.
3. I am able to express my anger, and I hold a safe, respectful space for others to express their anger towards me.
4. I consciously create time and space for resolving conflicts rather than arguing when either of us is in the midst of other things.
5. Resolving conflicts successfully often leads to greater intimacy and authenticity.
6. It’s important that the other person and I each have time to share our feelings without being interrupted.
7. I avoid holding grudges by expressing my feelings as soon as possible-that way resentments don’t build up.
8. I try to find a win-win solution in any conflict; I’m willing to negotiate until both of us are satisfied.
If you answered true more often in Set 1 and false more often in Set 2, you may want to learn some communication skills to help you fight fairly. Please don’t hesitate
to call if you’d like support in exploring this further.