Fighting Fair

Fighting Fair

There is an old children’s game known all around the world called “hide-and-seek”. No matter where you are geographically you might find differences in the name but not in the rules of the game. They are very simple: one kid counts to 10 while standing still, and without looking, while the rest of the kids run around to hide. Then the kid that has been counting so far must find the others. The last one to remain hidden and reach the starting point while saying “not found” wins.

This game looks a lot like the relationships of couples in conflict except instead of one staying and counting they both run away in order to hide from the other.

What do we notice then? We notice the lack of a dialogue of the point in dispute. This is far from playing, or “fighting”, fair.

But what is simple in a children’s game is not so simple at all in real family life. In order to learn to communicate we need to put some effort in, pause even and count to 10, instead of hiding and pretending that the problems do not exist.

Remember one thing: Nothing goes away just because you ignore it.

What do we call fighting fair?

You can consult any of a number of books and articles about how to get through these really difficult times in your relationship, and about how to fight your way through them fairly. In summary “fighting fair” means that you must take responsibility for how you contribute to the conflict, not just notice what your partner contributes.

Common to any successful approach is that when something is not working for you in your relationship, it needs to be brought out into the open and discussed.

In this way, rather than getting caught up in some outmoded way of attempting to get your needs met, you may come up with something more helpful that will result in you actually getting what you want in an appropriate way.

Relationship Rules for Effective Communication

I have discovered some rules for communicating more effectively, which are based on some very simple principles.

Before I introduce some of these rules let me just say something about communication.

Often couples come into my rooms and when I ask them what they wish to get from coming to counselling I get a response that goes something like this: “We need to learn to communicate!”

My response to that is that we are all communicating something, every minute of every day, and in whatever it is we say or do. It’s just that we’re not always communicating what we would like to communicate in the way we would like to communicate it or in a way that is appropriate or honest.

Consequently what I am offering here are the rules we can follow to create a more effective way of communicating.

In order for your relationship to be complete and strong you need to learn not only to give love and smile but also to use your full potential in order to stand up for yourself during the contradictions in which the relationship goes into without violating the rules of the game at the same time.

The art of fighting fair is not a gift; it is something that you learn. In the same way that we learn to take care of ourselves and of someone else whom we love we need to be responsible and conscious when acquiring the skills to communicate with our partner.

I would like to help you with more of my experience so keep an eye out for future blogs on this topic. Feel free to join in the conversation with your own experiences and learning about the rules you use to fight fair.

To the wonder of you,

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