Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Fighting Fairly: Avoid Triggering Your Partner

Questions: How can you fight fairly? I mean, conflict is conflict and it is important to clearly state your point and stand up for yourself, right?

What do you mean when you say: “avoid triggering your partner”? Everyone is responsible for his or her own reactions and responses, correct?

Answers: The answers are yes and yes. With a disagreement, it is important to stand up for yourself and state your point or opinion.

Being assertive means standing up for yourself while also respecting the rights of others. That’s different from being aggressive which often involves running over other people and their rights.

Most people who have regular disagreements with a partner or spouse, usually know what upsets or “sets off” their partner. It may be a comment about being just like their mother or a reminder of a past fight that has long been over but not forgotten. These remarks can be “dirty” and very unfair. When delivered, they are provocative and escalate fights.

While everyone is in charge of his or her own reactions … with words and with responses, take off the boxing gloves and put on the kid gloves. Treat your partner with love, tenderness and respect while also standing up for yourself and what is important to you.

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