How to Pick Your Battles In a Relationship and Prevent Unnecessary Fighting in 3 Steps
When you are upset and love someone, emotions are high and it can be very difficult to have a calm rational discussion. For most of us, logic goes out the window, defenses kick in and listening, understanding, and real solutions rarely take place.
In my opinion, once the train is off the tracks it is very difficult to re-rail it. Unfortunately, you just need to let the crash happen and then pick up the pieces after. However, many of these train collisions can be easily avoided.
Here are the steps:
1. Disregard Fights on Topics That Are Not Important - Life is too short, Enjoy each other
2. If you must Fight, If the topic is Not Important, Even if you know you are right, tell the other person they are right and let them "win"
3. Discuss Plans to Avoid Fights (Perform this When Happy With Each Other)
For example: When I get mad, I need to be far away from the person and when I am ready to chat with that person, my emotions will be back at normal levels and I will be able to have a loving conversation. Thus, if I notice I am getting mad, I will tell my gf, "I love you, I am getting upset, I am going to head to the gym and once I cool down we can discuss this"
If I told her this in the midst of an argument, she would probably not be happy that I was leaving while she wants to talk. Fortunately, we have discussed prior to our fight that I am not capable of being her loving, caring, active listening boyfriend when I am mad. Thus, she knows it is best for both of us if she waits to have our hard conversations when I am more open to truly listening to her.
Another example of a fight I have had is the following: My girlfriend hates when I look at my phone during our quality time together. I totally agree with her that my behavior is annoying but unfortunately it is a habit at this point. But, together we came up with a solution.
If she is really getting bothered by it, she is going to ask me to have the 10 foot rule. This means I put my phone 10 feet away and thus will only go get it if I truly need it for something, not to google why glue doesn't stick inside the container.
On her side, if she sees me using my phone, she will occasionally pick hers up and read articles. These two solution for the phone are new so I will keep you posted if they work.
In order to reiterate, attempt to have serious discussions only when both parties are in the right mental state to have the discussion, avoid fighting on minute topics, and finally if a fight happens on an inconsequential topic let the other person "win".