Do you use dirty fight moves in your relationships?
As my first blog with my newly launched business, Global Therapy with Viktoria, I wanted to talk about relationship fights or arguments, simply because they are unavoidable, common and normal to have in any relationship. But how we fight or argue is a whole different matter. Every single fighting sport like boxing and karate has rules and forbidden moves to ensure safety, but it seems like that is not a standard parameter among people having verbal arguments.
Fighting with no rules can lead to arguments escalating to hurtful exchanges that can leave deep emotional scars and create painful memories that take the time to heal. I certainly had many moments and many memories where I wish I could get back what I said in the heat of a moment. I am sure many of you can relate.
Following one of the unpleasant arguments in my life, I figured out that I need some rules to keep the other person and me safe at the times of disagreements.
In my search for these rules, I learned that the first step towards safe fighting is to know what the forbidden, dirty moves are so you can become aware of the types of moves you commonly engage. Once you have the knowledge and awareness, you can move towards change.
So what are these dirty fighting moves? Here are a few very common ones. As you read through them, see if you can relate.
1. Overgeneralizing – Have you ever said to your partner/friend “You always do this…” or “You never do this…”. How did that go for you? Chances are the other person became defensive and started listing the times when the exception took place.
2. Complaint confetti – During this dirty move, you list a long list of complaints to your partner. “You don’t clean the house… You don’t spend any time with me… I am always the one to clean after our dog…”. Like confetti complaints keep flying and with so many complaints, you and your partner loose sight of the original issue, things get heated up, and nothing gets resolved in the end.
3. Advice giving – You know just what the person needs to change and give complete destructions instructions at to how they should act, think, and feel. With this dirty move, we come off superior, and our partner feels put down. This tactic is very much about “I am right …. You are wrong… Here is what you need to change.”
4. Fleeing – Have you ever walked away from a discussion leaving your partner hanging? Or gave them a silent treatment ignoring them? Freezing out your partner or friend like that keeps people involved in the argument stuck in intense, toxic emotions for longer.
5. Ping Pong complain – Ahhh. This one is a classic. Have you ever responded to a complaint of your own after you partner shared his/her with you? “Can you pick up your socks, they are everywhere.” And in response, one might here: “My socks? What about your papers everywhere? It’s a mess!”. It is an argument where everyone loses.
6. Bullying – You are doing everything possible to dominate the discussion. You might talk over, yell, scream, belittle, or use name calling to drown out what your partner is trying to tell you. If you are using this dirty move, prepare that the intensity of conversation will be through the roof and both parties will be badly wounded in the end.
Here are a few dirty blows that we throw quite often in our arguments with our loved ones. Over the course of the next few days, pay attention to notice which tactics you commonly use. We all have a few ‘favorite’ ones.
Watch out for my next blog on what to do instead of these dirty punches to make your relationship stronger.
Your Global Therapist,