When in conflict with others there should always be structure. In other words, when you are fighting with your partner, itís important that you both agree to ground rules that will help you both to avoid calling names, getting hurt, being disrespectful or bringing up past circumstances. These are rules and structure that will help you both from running down a rabbit hole that doesnít lead anywhere and only results in poor outcomes.
For instance, if you and your partner follow basic rules for conflict you’ll be less likely to reduce your selves to calling names, yelling, cursing or talking about problems that happened last month or last year. These are the benefits of working within a structure with boundaries that protect both you and your partner.
The two other characteristics of a ‘good’ argument that can result in resolution which satisfies both of you, is using both respect and honesty.
It’s difficult to talk about one of these characteristics without talking about the other. To be honest will generate respect and if you respect your partner you will be honest with them. Most of the rules of good conflict resolution are about respecting the person with whom you are arguing. When you can show respect through not using curse words, not yelling or calling names, not bringing up old arguments and allowing your partner to walk away when they feel as if they will lose control, you are respecting them as a person and they will know it.
Honesty can be a more difficult situation, especially if you know that you are in the wrong. If you’ve done something you don’t want to share, it’s time to own up to your part of the responsibility of the problem and deal with it. Being honest is never easy, but it is the basis of intimacy in a relationship. Without honesty between you there won’t be respect and your relationship will soon be in more trouble than just one or two arguments.