Fight fair & smart

Before you begin, ask yourself why you feel so upset.  Think about your feelings, and what values or needs are not being addressed.

Discuss one topic at a time.  Don’t dump all your frustrations.

No degrading language. Discuss the issue, not the person.

Express your feelings with words. Use ‘I statements’. Don’t slam doors or sulk.

Take turns speaking. Speak in small paragraphs giving the other one time to absorb what you are saying so they can ask clarifying questions or mirror back what they heard.  As listener, your job is to understand and validate, not necessarily to agree or set the record straight.

Keep calm. No yelling. Take a time-out as necessary, but come back to the conversation soon thereafter; no stonewalling.

Attempt to resolve the issue. Use creative problem solving. If you can’t resolve, at the very least, help the sender feel understood and validated.

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