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Fighting Can Help Improve Relationships, Even If You Don’t Feel Like It

Fighting Can Help Improve Relationships, Even If You Don’t Feel Like It

When we’re young we think of the perfect relationship. Everyone is always smiling and things are going well. Your partner knows exactly what to say and do to make you feel good and vice versa. Those of us who have been in relationships know better. Couples can and will fight for just about anything. The key is to understand that fighting can help improve relationships. Here’s how.

1. You air your dirty laundry

improve relationships

    An argument may start over anything. You two may not know what to do for dinner. One of you may have taken that turn a little fast and loose while out driving. Problems in a relationship are like dynamite and little things like not deciding on a place to eat are nothing more than a fuse. Eventually, these little things will open up the table to what is really going wrong. Once you can identify what’s really going on, it’s just a matter of figuring out how to fix it.

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    2. You will be more comfortable around one another

    The classic sign that a couple is comfortable with each other is when the “embarrassing” bodily functions fly even when the other person is in the room. Believe it or not, fighting can actually do the same thing. Couples who fight are not only working out their issues but also showing each other how they deal with problems. It forces you to talk about yourselves and what you think. By the end of it you’ll know the other person way better than you did before and vice versa because both of you will be expressing yourselves, often for the first time.

    3. You will have confirmation that both of you want the relationship to work

    improve relationships

      People will fight for things they believe in. It doesn’t matter if they’re joining the military to fight for their country or shouting at you across the kitchen table to fight for your relationship. A lot of people think that anger means discontent but it actually means that you care so much that when something goes wrong, you get upset about it. Fighting with your partner shows them that you’re upset and that you want to fix things to make them better. If you don’t want to fight or if your partner doesn’t want to fight to make a relationship right, then there might be a problem.

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      4. You and your partner will restore your sanity

      Anger means that you care. Unfortunately, being angry can also drive you insane if you don’t express it. Bottling up those kinds of emotions can be dangerous. It can cause you to have irrational thoughts and eventually you start thinking things that aren’t true. Letting out that anger can help reset your insanity button and get those negative thoughts out of your head. Not fighting and letting those feelings get bottled up is never good. Ever.

      5. You will get an honest answer for once

      improve relationships

        Emotions flying around like witches on broomsticks often means that the truth is also flying around. Have you ever noticed that people in fights make statements they wouldn’t otherwise make. “I never liked it when you did this.” Couples in an argument often air their dirty laundry but more importantly they’re doing it honestly. Those small things you keep bottled up and lie about (“Sure, honey, I don’t mind watching Sex in the City…again”) can be set free because angry people no longer care about the consequences. As long as you’re not hiding anything ridiculous like cheating or something irreparable, chances are that your little issues are fixable.

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        6. You get to have sex

        As long as your relationship survives the fight (and chances are that it will) you get to have make up sex. By the time the argument is over everyone is stressed out. Things are a little tense. There are few better ways our species has access to than a good rumble between the sheets to get some of that tension out. We’re not saying you should pick a fight but plenty of people who are in relationships go through a dry spell that ends after a fight.

        7. You get a reminder of what you’re doing wrong

        improve relationships

          Relationships take work. Sometimes you have to stop doing something or start doing something to keep your partner happy. Not doing those things can result in a fight. During that fight you will be reminded (many times) of what you’re doing wrong. This can seem tedious and awful but sometimes we need a push in the right direction because we don’t always know what the other person wants. A good fight can put those needs into focus.

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          8. You can understand yourself better

          I can’t even remember how many epiphanies I’ve had during fights anymore. It doesn’t always happen but sometimes you are just wrong. It happens to all of us and there is nothing to be ashamed of. The problem is that you don’t know that you’re wrong until someone points it out. In today’s society, telling someone they’re wrong is fighting words. The important part is admitting that you’re wrong after you get caught being wrong. Otherwise this entire point is worthless.

          Of course, we are coming at this from a specific point of view. Arguing and fighting is healthy but only if it’s done in a specific way. If your partner is hitting you, abusing you, bullying you, or otherwise hurting you or making you feel unsafe, you should do something about that immediately. There is no fixing that kind of behavior. Otherwise, keep these tips in mind the next time your partner blows up at you (or vice versa) and prepare to work on your relationship the old fashioned way.

          Featured photo credit: No Cookie via img1.wikia.nocookie.net

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          Joseph Hindy

          A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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          Last Updated on February 21, 2019

          The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

          The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

          In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

          Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

          Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

          Conflicts are literally everywhere.

          Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

          Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

          Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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          Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

          Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

          Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

          The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

          Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

          Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

          How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

          Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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          Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

          Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

          How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

          Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

          Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

          Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

          How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

          Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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          Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

          Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

          How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

          Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

          Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

          Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

          How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

          Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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          Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

          Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

          How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

          Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

          Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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