7 Dos and Don'ts of Fighting Fair
Steve Berman | HRPeople
March 21, 2011
4. Do: Apologize whenever necessary
Unless the fight is 100% the other person’s fault (like if you’ve just caught them cheating or stealing something from you), it doesn’t hurt to apologize, especially if the other person is willing to or has already apologized. It takes two to tango, and it takes two to fight. If one person always feels like they need to apologize, they’ll soon start to wonder why they’re always in the wrong and feel resentment. Part of compromise is giving up the idea that each fight has a clear winner and loser. People who fight that way often end up losing all around in the end.
4. Don’t: Apologize and take it back in the same breath
Nothing upsets another person more than saying something like, “I’m sorry I didn’t take your feelings into account, but …” Whatever is said after the word “but” is generally something that completely negates the apology. If you mean you’re sorry, say that you’re sorry and then end the sentence. Don’t apologize just so you can get a reciprocal apology.
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5. Do: End the fight as soon as possible
If you’re in the middle of a fight and you see the finish line, it’s best just to let the fight end. Focus on positive words and new ideas for how the two of you will avoid fights like this in the future, without rehashing the same fight-worthy topics again and again out of boredom or spite.
5. Don’t: Walk out on a fight
Perhaps the most passive-aggressive fight tactic is the leave-the-room-and-slam-the-door maneuver. Even worse is when you leave the house or apartment where you’re fighting entirely for a cool off moment. If the other person still wants to talk and there’s a chance for things to work out, storming off is an immature move; something people do if they don’t want to make things right with the other person.