Learning how to fight


Gina Wilson

This week we’re going to start learning about skills you need to have in order to have a productive disagreement with someone.

Why do people have disagreements? Pretty simple. Both people want things to happen their way.

Know yourself in advance. How does anger affect you? For example, some people like the drama and the emotion of a big noisy blowup, everybody clears the air, takes responsibility for their part and they move on. If both people are not comfortable with this level of anger, it can be very difficult to have an equal partnership.

Other people do not like to be cornered and forced to have a conversation they are unprepared for. This could cause them to shut down (not helpful), to accept blame for things that they should not accept blame for (also not helpful), or to literally run from the conversation (need I say: not helpful).

Yet others do not want to speak in anger because they know themselves well enough to know that they will probably say mean things that they later wish they hadn’t said. It doesn’t necessarily matter if they’re true – the words are now out in the universe and cannot be taken back.

Figure out what kind of response you have to anger before you get angry and talk about it.

However, please do not say things to your partner like “well, I have an anger problem. I can’t help it. I just say things when I’m mad” and then shrug your shoulders as if to say “deal with it, that’s who I am” Ummmmm…..no. If you can’t control your anger who can?

And one more thing about anger management issues. We all have anger management issues. We all feel anger, and so we all have to manage it.

Think about this part and next week we will tackle how to actually have a productive argument.