We all have a style.
There are clothes we feel more comfortable wearing, homes we are more comfortable living in, decor we like better than others, music that sounds better to us and a style of fighting or disagreeing that “feels”better to us than other styles. The reality is that we can change that style, but it takes effort, knowledge and a desire to do thing differently.
But, before learning a new style that might be more effective than the one you are using now, you also have to know what style youíre using at the moment. You can’t change something unless you know what it is you are changing.
Some of the different ways that people fight will tell you more about who they are when they aren’t fighting.
For instance, there are people who will avoid conflict at all costs. If they feel badly about something you said or did they won’t tell you. Instead, they will bury the hurt and pain until it comes out in other small ways in your conversations. They might get short tempered with you about arriving late, or get angrier than you think is necessary about the fingerprints on the glass. You might find that their personality changes or that they withdraw from your relationship. Instead of talking about the real issue, they bury the issue and move on. You might think that this would be a great way to get away with much of what you feel you’ve done “wrong” but instead it only creates a divide between you that eventually is just to big to cross.
When some people receive criticism, of any kind, they take it as a personal attack on themselves. It’s difficult for them to see beyond how something might impact their own personal situation and how change may improve their current way of doing things. Instead of accepting the ideas in the spirit in which they are intended, do you first put up a wall and believe that your partner is attacking you? If that’s the case, itís going to be difficult for them to feel they can express their own feelings without first getting you angry.
Some people will hit below the belt first, in order to get the first punch in and feel on top of the argument. Some may perceive that you might be angry and get angry first to have the upper hand in the argument. The problem is that you may not have been getting mad at all – but once your partner gets mad it’s difficult not to respond in kind. The situation might be reversed, where you get angry first when you think you partner will be angry. Neither of these situations work well when you want to resolve conflict.
Do you feel out of control when you and your partner have a disagreement? Although this is more likely to happen to women, some men also will feel out of control when arguing with their partner and then either withdraw to keep from exploding, or they may just explode. And on of the last styles of fighting is to store up all the past wrongs done to you and bring them up in each and every disagreement. This may be done to ensure that their hand is always on top since you are the one that has done more wrong, or it might be done because those wrongs have not been forgiven and forgotten.
No matter what your style of disagreements or fighting or the style of your partner, before you can fully incorporate some of the rules of having a successful conflict you have to know where you are coming from. At one time or another, you’ve probably used most of these styles of conflict. The trick is to recognize when youíre doing them so you can learn to stop.