“Fair Fighting” Rules

  1. Ask for an appointment for the discussion.
    • Mutually agreed upon time
    • Mutually agreed upon place
    • Approximate duration
    • Advise regarding content
  2.  Don’t argue “below the belt”
    • Don’t call each other names, direct or indirect
    • Don’t call each other’s friends or family names, direct or indirect
    • Don’t threaten, verbally or non-verbally
    • Don’t use physical violence
  3. Use “I” statements
    • “You” statements:
      • Promotes defensiveness
      • Gives away power
      • Gives responsibility to the other person
    • “I” statements:
      • Reduce defensiveness
      • Retains control
      • Shows acceptance of responsibilities
  4. Deal with feelings first
    • Express your feelings
      • Become aware of what you are feeling
      • Label what you are feeling
      • Verbalize and describe what you feel
    • Listen
      • Awareness of what other person is feeling by verbal and nonverbal cues
      • Label and check it out
      • Accept their right to feel what they want to feel
  5. Check it out
    • Words
    • Nonverbal cues
    • Incongruousness
    • Thoughts and mind-reading
  6. Ask for specific action
    • Ask for what you want in detail
    • Ask them what they want, get details
    • Compromise and negotiate
  7. Take a “Time Out”, if needed
    • When to take a time out
    • How to take a time out
    • Mutual agreement of when and how
    • Agreement about next appointment
  8. Use teamwork
    • Don’t use this as weapons or for competition
    • Work together to use the rules
  9. Never give up