Fight RightApril 3, 2016
Unless you are a doormat, fighting is one of the less awesome parts of your daily life. It may range from storming out of the roomhouse, breaking teeth or a bone or two, giving the silent treatment, or coming out with a scream that may bring in the fire brigade; the important thing to know is that conflict and argument are important parts of improving the quality of life. (Thomas doubted and argued, which provoked Jesus to say, “Blessed are those who have not seen yet believed…,” the generation today that does not see yet believes, would not have received the greatest blessing Jesus conferred on future generations.)
So the solution is not to eliminate doubt, argument, and conflict from life. Ask your doctor or counselor – they will tell you that learning to argue about things correctly can be beneficial to the relationship (parent-child; husband-wife; employee-team leader, servant-saabmemsaab. Siblings, friends – all of them) under emotional struggle because it can help settle issues long-term. Believe it or not, fights also strengthen a relationship, life-long. Above all, it can also be good for health for it steps up the adrenalin.
Anomaly? Can Fight and Right be said in the same breathsentencephrase? Listen to the following serenade of soulful skirmishing and see if you do not make it your song of glorious survival.
1) What is the most irritating thing about you?
This is the right ground on which to prepare for the skirmish. For a flash moment, think of the most disgusting habit you have (we may never reveal this because with many it may be a real repellent). Just think, no need to say it aloud. But as you think it through, you will suddenly realize that each one of us have some irritating nerve endings which medical research bypassed. We have annoying habits and no wonder we have a tremendous ability to get on each other’s nerves. Look at the range in bothersome behaviour: leaving things behind wherever you go, open mouthed noisy munching, digging the nose, accepting a superfluous call during an intense conversation … the list is endless. (If you think you do not have an annoying habit, your self-scrutiny bypassed one – lack of self-awareness!) The benefit of remembering your shortcoming at this inappropriate moment is that it will take the poison out of your retortdefenseoffense but not the steam. You remain angry but the fire will not burn the relationship.
2) What is your combat partner’s trigger jigger?
Whatever or whoever may have initiated the aggravation, if you want it to conclude in Pleasantville, respect each other’s triggers. Some take a casual remark and almost everything said to them as a ‘personal attack’ … others may get road rage when someone overtakes from the left … another may explode when in the middle of a skirmish, the other simply walks out of the room (Oooooo!!!). To prevent relationship-termination, it helps to remain mindful of the other’s unique fighting form and accept that style matters, and that’s his or her style. Use the time to plan to re-strategize instead of breaking down the door or giving in a resignation.
3) Are you fighting clean?
The irrepressible Kevin Bacon says, “Keep your sex dirty but your fight clean.” It works when you execute it. Do not open the closet for dirt during a fight. No litany of past faults and failures, avoid adjectives and demolition nouns. Better to focus on the issue: “You came late; we missed the beginning and so we could not understand what the hell was happening on screen,” rather than, “Like the rest of your family, you are an insensitive idiot – you are a selfish brute who did not care that I was waiting outside the theatre for half an hour feeling like a fool.” Separate issue from feeling and the resolution will come in sooner than you realize.
4) Can you say ‘sorry’?
If you are simply not in the mood for skirmish, or know that the ember set alight cannot flame in victory for you, simply give in with the two worded least-used phrase, “I’m sorry.” Never underestimate the power of apology. It may look like you’ve lost. But you and your combat partner – both, know the victory is yours!