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Resolve Relationship Conflict Quickly

How to streamline your fights so you can quickly get back to snuggling.

By
Stever Robbins
4-minute read
Episode #79

But if you must fight, streamline the process. Create a word processing document and type in your standard arguments. Include both points of view, but just how you both say them. Don't cheat to make yourself look better than you are; record both sides of each argument. Put in a bold header for each argument to make it easy to find, and include a table of contents if it helps. Start with a title page, “Our arguments.”

Now print it out and make sure you each have a copy. Next time you start to argue, run (don't walk) to your nearest copy and hand it to the other person. Then you can each turn to the proper page and run through the argument silently. When you're done, if either of you have anything else to say, say it. Record those additions for next time, of course. Voila! What used to be a two hour argument now takes mere moments. You can look at each other, laugh a bit, and go snuggle and make up.

Yes, I'm Serious

In my life, this tip works. The idea appeared in my head in the middle of an argument, when I realized the argument was really, really familiar, but it was too late to stop it from escalating. I thought sarcastically, “There's gotta be a way to streamline this.” Then I realized it could be funny to give it a try. My first version was my partner's main points and what my responses would be. That would help me save time in proving I was right. Then I realized that wasn't fair, so I included both points of view. It was funny. We only had to use our argument booklet two or three times before almost all of those arguments lost their force.

This tip doesn't actually work because you're streamlining your arguments, it works because you're reminding yourselves how silly and futile arguing is in the first place. Life's too short. Go snuggle instead.

This is Stever Robbins. Email questions to getitdone@quickanddirtytips.com or leave voicemail at 866-WRK-LESS.

Work Less, Do More, and have a Great Life!

RESOURCES

How to Manage Multiple Projects

Sample Fight Sheet

Fighting Couple image courtesy of Shutterstock

Pages

About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT. 

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