What if we fight a lot?

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Fights are a normal part of any relationship. At some point you’re going to disagree on something! The question is: How do you fight?

Fights

Fights look different to different people, depending on what you are used to and what kind of person you are.

If a fight with your boyfriend or girlfriend (BF/GF) leaves you feeling afraid, that’s not okay.

Be prepared

If you can feel trouble brewing, be prepared.

Work out what you want and how you are going to say it so your BF/GF will understand. Use this diary exercise to get a grip on your feelings or talk to someone you trust first.

Dead ends

These common traps get in the way of sorting out fights.

Blame game

It’s not helpful to get stuck spending time working out who caused the situation – most relationships are more complex than that.

Instead focus on how you want things to be in the future, and what each of you can do to make that happen.

Bringing up the past

Stick to now.

Bringing up things that have happened weeks or months  ago can only confuse the issue and take you further away from finding a solution. If there are serious things from the past that need to be talked about, then make a time to discuss them separately.

‘Always’ and ‘never’

These two words can make a person feel trapped. “You always forget to call me” or “you never listen” might be a good description of how you’re feeling but it’s not going to help your BF/GF find a different way to do things.

Replacing ‘you always’ with ‘when you’ or even ‘sometimes you’ (for example, ”sometimes you don’t listen to me”) will give your BF/GF room to change.

Anger

He made me mad so we talked it out after school. Poster from Choose Respect" campaign by CDC.

Anger is a powerful emotion. Some people use it as an excuse for bad behaviour.

Anger’s not all bad though – sometimes it can tell you when other people are hurting you and give you the energy to look after yourself.

  • If you’re in a fight and you feel like your anger is driving you to say or do something mean or hurtful,  take time out.
  • Say, “I need a break for a minute”.
  • Come back to the conversation when you’ve calmed down.
  • Being angry doesn’t make it okay to hurt people.
  • See Dear Diary: dealing with feelings

Time heals

If a fight feels like it’s going on and on with no end in sight, take time out.

Talk about it again in a day or two, or just agree to disagree.

Sometimes walking away from a fight gives each of you time to think. Maybe things will look different in a few days. (Or maybe not, which is ok too.)

If you’ve come to a compromise that works for both of you, let go of whatever you were fighting about.

Give things a chance to work before you bring it up again. After a while it’s good to check in with your BF/GF and make sure things are going okay.

Related links

First image from Flickr by Procsilas Moscas, second image from Choose Respect campaign by CDC.

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    [...] What if we fight a lot? [...]