Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino
Discover How to Be Your Best
Pick Your Battles As Carefully As You Pick Your Partner
by Jacqueline Whitmore on April 8th, 2015

We know it is important to great care when picking our partner for life. Before we would ever dream of turning a date into a serious relationship or marriage, we would be sure to put a ton of thought, time and attention into that decision. But, once we have that partner for life, we may not realize it is still critically important to treat all facets of that relationship with great care. No decision could be more important in your relationship than knowing when to fight, how to fight and what exactly is worth fighting about.

Only fight about issues that are truly important
Evaluate the consequences of an argument. Consider a few simple questions: “Is this worth addressing?” And, “Will I care about this tomorrow?” Don’t argue for the sake of arguing.

Make a plan
Take a moment to calm down and think through the problem. Don’t attack your partner. Convey your frustration and support your logical argument with facts and examples.

Pause for the cause
Review your motivation. Ask yourself, Is this really the problem or is something else bothering me? If you’re stressed about work or finances, you may be more irritable than usual.

Don’t react immediately
Walk away from the situation for a few minutes. Calm down and consider what an argument will accomplish. If you choose to fight every battle, you’ll be seen as stubborn or argumentative.

Choose the right time
Fighting with your spouse or partner in public will rarely have a positive outcome. Find a quiet place to vent your frustrations in private so you can have an honest conversation without outside pressure.

Talk; don’t yell
Both parties will likely become defensive if the fight becomes overly emotional. Practice effective listening. Let your partner know his or her view is valued, even if you don’t completely agree.

Agree to disagree
Sometimes compromise seems impossible. Stay positive and defuse the situation with humor, whenever possible.

Don’t assume your partner knows what you’re feeling. Be specific about what upsets you. Meet each other halfway and try to find a compromise.

Solve the problem together
View your partner as your teammate, not your enemy. When you view the situation through that lens, you change the dynamic of the argument.

Look in the mirror
Never minimize or cover up your mistakes. Most times, both parties contribute to the problem. Take responsibility for your part, acknowledge your errors and work toward a compromise.

Stay calm
Have a respectful conversation. If the situation becomes too tense, take a break. It’s better to step away than it is to let the argument escalate.

Preempt the problem
A little prevention goes a long way. Address the situation as soon as you see an issue arise. Be proactive in your approach. Some arguments are simply a difference in perspective.

Discuss your issue in person
Disagreements are best addressed face-to-face. Body language and facial expressions help to convey your meaning. Emails and phone conversations can be misinterpreted and may extend the argument unnecessarily.

Choose your words carefully
Listen attentively and speak respectfully. Watch what you say and how you say it. Once your words leave your mouth, you can never take them back.

Seek help when necessary
Some issues seem too large to solve. When you can’t reach an agreement and you want to keep your relationship intact, seek professional advice. Sometimes a counselor or mediator can shed light on the situation and keep your love alive.

Once you are married or in a long-term relationship it is important to remember the early days of your courtship to keep the romance strong. It is also important to remember the careful thought you once put into picking this person to share your life with. That is the same kind of consideration you should put into picking your battles in this very important relationship.

​About Jacqueline Whitmore

​Jacqueline Whitmore is an internationally-recognized etiquette expert, author and founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach. She is the author of Poised for Success.

Visit http://www.etiquetteexpert.com/ and http://jacquelinewhitmore.com/

Posted in Family, Relationships, Marriage    Tagged with relationships, fights, battles, solving problems, communications, communcation, breakdown, breakthru, advice, assistance, getting along, marriage, family, sibling, co-workers, brother, sister, husband, wife, disagreements, discussions, anger, words, Jacqueline Whitmore, author, etiquette, Protocol school of Palm Beach, Poised for Success


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