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Thursday, June 11, 2015

How to Really Win in a Fight (Specially with your Partner)

Let me premise this post by saying that I am a woman and I have this belief that I am right maybe 95% of the time. Here's the problem with this belief. If I believe I am right practically all the time it must mean that someone else is wrong. If that belief wasn't bad enough I would also have to point out that the people who I deem as being wrong usually end up being my family and friends. Did I mention that I'm also not very shy about pointing out that they're wrong?

When I was younger (and so much more arrogant) I would defend this behavior by holding on to the fact that "Well I'm right. I'm just telling it how it is". What a senseless way of losing friends and loved ones huh?  

My friend Vicki once asked me "If you were given a choice between being right and being kind, what would you choose?".  I would admit that this question caught me off guard. Up until that point, I thought being right was being kind. Because I am after all educating (scoff,) people when I tell them how wrong they are and what the right thing is. But the more I think about it the more I realized how often we cling on to what is right and forget to be kind. We are often emboldened by the belief that we are standing for what is right that we lose our ability to feel for others.  

I realized that I know so many wonderful, smart, empowered women who are winning all the arguments because they are right but are slowly losing their relationships. I ask myself is this really winning? These past few weeks I have been talking to people and have been giving these two advise that I thought it best to write them down. Here are two things you should do to really win in a fight.

Just a note; this is not my husband.
This was my boss and we were being silly and acting out scenes in public.

1. If given the choice between being right and being kind, choose to be kind.

There is no point in rubbing it in. Sure, sometimes the point of your partner may seem ludicrous to you but do you really need to rub it in his face? Would it be a victory if you end up winning and being right but you are left with somebody who has a crushed spirit and ego? 

My friend Vicki used to tell me that in arguing you always have to spare your husband's ego because once you crush that it would be hard to build back up. 

2.  Always give people the chance to exit gracefully.

Would it really kill you to allow your partner to have an excuse? Always make sure that you and your husbands leave the argument with your dignities intact. Let's look at a case where you feel like your husband needs to spend more time at home with your kid. 

Wife: You really need to spend more time with our son
Husband: Sure I've just been so busy. 

(It is at this point that you are faced with a fork in the road. Would you be kind and give him his dignity? Or would you be right and secure what would be a winning argument for yourself?)


Wife: I know you have been. It must be really hard balancing work and family. I wonder how we can schedule an activity for you two together next? 

See this approach is kind. You recognize his situation and you suggest working together to come up with a solution. Let's look at the other scenario. 


Wife: Busy? But we both work and I get the time to spend with our son. 
Husband: (will now recognize he is being questioned and will get defensive) Your work is easy and you go home when you want to. I'm the one who needs to adjust to clients all day.
Wife: That's not the issue. The issue is you don't know how to prioritize us. If you have time to play golf and play computer games then you should be able to spend time with your own kid. 

Which approach would be the winning approach for you? Sure scenario 2 proves the wife right but it is peppered with judgment and accusations that could build up and slowly drive a wedge between you and your husband. So my dear ladies, I hope we always try to be like the wife in scenario 1.