Everyone in a relationship argues. However, how loudly you scream, or how frequently you fight does not predict the outcome of your marriage. Most revealing about the happiness factor of your relationship and of course, how good you feel about yourself is your fighting style
. See if you fit any of the four categories:
- The Boxer: You take the tit-for-tat approach. You fire back immediately with an insult. You definitely go for the knockout punch!
- The Smiler: You smile while you hold a dagger behind your back. You pretend that everything is okay and that you are not hurt. However, you hold a grudge for quite awhile, as you plot revenge.
- The Stone Waller: You are a passive-aggressive. You say, ďNothing is wrong. Iím fine after all!Ē However, your partner can clearly see that something is definitely wrong. As a result, you reply briefly to your partnerís questions or distance yourself be hanging out alone
- The Diplomat: You are a politician and know how to defuse the situation. You preface any disagreement with a compliment. You affirm your attacker and disarm him with affirming words.
Once you figure out your fighting style, you can objectively analyze it. People who push your buttons have much to teach you about your internal stressors. The next time you fight, instead of reacting to a situation, knowing your fighting style can help you understand why you respond the way you do and so, break the pattern. For example, if you are the Boxer type, you might feel insecure about your own power and self-esteem. Thatís why you always respond with teaching your partner a lesson! If you are a Smiler, perhaps, you are a people pleaser and have a hard time expressing your true feelings. During a fight you are conflicted and give off mixed signals. As a Stone Waller, you are introverted and a bit self-centered, expecting everyone to read your mind and when he doesnít, you are angry. And the Diplomat knows how to manipulate and always seeks control others.
Most critical is the answer to the question: Do you respect and accept your partnerís differences? The goal of any fight is to reach an equitable solution, fair to both parties. You are two different people who want to have a constructive conflict, instead of a destructive one which is a power play and always has a winner and a loser. Remember everyone has an ego and wants to be right. So let him!
Debbie Mandel, MA is the author of Changing Habits: The Caregivers' Total Workout
and Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul,
a stress-reduction specialist, motivational speaker, a personal trainer and mind/body lecturer. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light Show on WGBB AM1240 in New York City , produces a weekly wellness newsletter, and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To learn more visit: www.turnonyourinnerlight.com