How to Stop the Fighting
Recently I’ve received a flurry of emails with a similar theme. It’s all about fighting and not being able to stop a wall of rage coming your way. People rarely like what I have to say about fighting, but it’s almost always the same. It takes two to tango.
If you don’t want to be in a fight you have a lot of power even though it might not feel like it. You get to choose whether to fight or not. Many times people are looking for a way to get their partner to stop fighting, but you don’t have power over another person to get them to do or not to do anything. The key thing to remember is this. I only have power over me, but that’s a heck of a lot of power to have. (tweetable!)
So, here’s my short and sweet answer for how to stop a fighting in four steps.
- Tell your partner you no longer wish to communicate in anger. Set some boundaries about how you intend to be spoken to.
- If the fighting starts again, leave the room. Repeat as many times as you see fit. Often times you’ll have to do it many times before your partner gets the point. Leave the room, rinse and repeat.
- If leaving the room doesn’t work, leave the house. Unfortunately I’ve been in relationships where when I left the room, the angry person would follow me. Sometimes leaving the room isn’t enough. Leaving the house will usually stop a fight. If it doesn’t something is seriously wrong.
- If none of that works, leave the relationship. Sounds harsh, but let me tell you, in some cases it’s the only way to end the conflict AND it’s worth it. Boundaries by their nature aren’t negotiable. (tweetable!)
I’m not suggesting that a couple just pull the plug when anger is spilling over. However, I know for sure you can’t resolve problems in highly heated fights. So, if a relationship stands a chance new patterns have to be learned.