Relationship Skill Building

One component of changing your relationship is changing the way you argue or fight. Below are some basic patterns to change.

Destructive Fight Tactics (adapted from “Man, the Manipulator” by Everett L. Shostrom)
  • Don’t apologize prematurely to end a fight.
  • Don’t refuse to take the fight seriously.
  • Don’t engage in power tactics to “win” the fight.
  • Don’t falsely accommodate to avoid a fight.
  • Don’t change the subject or otherwise obscure the issue at hand.
  • Don’t analyze your partner to gain the upper hand.
  • Don’t withhold affection, approval, or material things in order to intimidate your partner into capitulating.
  • Don’t undermine your partner through threats.
  • Refrain from analyzing your partner. Don’t diagnose.  Remember to separate the person of your partner from the issue at hand.
  • Don’t change the subject to avoid the issue at hand.
  • Don’t “hit below the belt”. Don’t go after your partner’s vulnerabilities.  Don’t resort to humiliation.
  • Don’t gloat over a win or use your win to try to get additional concessions. Be a graceful winner.