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Guide Overview

Rules for Fighting Fair

A primer on necessary boundaries to use during conflict heading towards repair and not disaster.
March 2, 2023
Summary Notes

- Conflict and fights are a natural part of any relationship, but it's important to ensure that these conflicts are productive and not destructive. To achieve this, it's crucial to follow the rules of fair fighting.

- The first rule of fair fighting is to avoid using any form of physical force or intimidation that can harm the other person. This includes blocking someone from leaving a room, using physical gestures, or threatening harm in any way.

- The second rule is to avoid insults and personal attacks. Fair fighting does not involve calling names, belittling the other person, or criticizing their abilities.

- The third rule is to stay focused on the topic at hand and not bring up unrelated issues. It's common for people to bring up other topics during a fight, but this is not fair fighting. If there is another issue that needs to be discussed, it should be done at a different time.

- The fourth rule is to listen to the other person and give them a chance to speak. During a fight, it's important to be an active listener and give your partner the opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings.

- The fifth rule is to avoid stonewalling, which is when one person stops communicating, looking at, or engaging with the other person as a form of punishment. This is an abusive tactic and not acceptable in fair fighting.

- Additionally, fair fighting also means avoiding destruction of property, throwing objects, hitting walls, and making threats, either physical or of abandonment. Fair fighting is fair because both people take full responsibility for their own actions and behaviors and work towards resolving the conflict without causing harm to themselves or each other. Fair fights are typically shorter and less intense, and they don't result in deeper wounds that need to be repaired. Both parties involved should aim to regulate their emotions and work towards communicating their needs and points of view effectively.

All right, y'all having fights, having conflict, it's gonna happen in every relationship. But if you want your conflict to be productive and not to be destructive, you gotta fight. Fair. So what are the rules for fighting Fair? Number one, you may not scare.  or intimidate the other person using any form of physical force of your body that involves not blocking somebody from leaving a room, not clustering English body, um, making sure that the other person understands that at no point in this fight will they be harmed as a result of a disagreement that they're having with you.

Number two, no insults. Fair fighting does not involve telling someone.  that they are a jackass or putting down their body or putting down their skillset. Uh, we do not insult in order to f fight. Fight. Okay, number three, we do not bring up other topics unrelated to the fight. I see people do this a lot.

I'm in the middle of a discussion. I say to my partner, Hey, this is really bothering me. I need you to work on this. And they say, yeah, well you don't. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Nope, nope, nope. Not a fair fight. If you have an issue you gotta bring up with your partner, that's great. You bring it up at a different point in time.

Fighting fair means we stay on the topic that we are on, and we address whatever it is that we're trying to address together. Four. You know what's gonna be funny at some point in this, I'm gonna lose count of what number I'm on, but I think I'm on four. Okay. Number four. You have to listen to the other person at some point in the fight.

It is your job to be the listener. We all like to be the talker, the arguer, the debater when we're in a fight, that's not fair fighting. So make sure that you give your partner airtime to hear whatever it is that they are trying to share with you. Five, no stonewalling. What is stone? Stonewalling is when we're angry at someone and we stop talking to them, looking at them and engaging with them.

And this is a tactic that we've often learned in our families of origin. It's an abusive tactic. It's like, Hey, you're not doing what I want you to do. You're not seeing what I want you to see. And said, I'm gonna punish you by cutting off your access to our relationship. And to me, stonewalling is a no-no.

No throwing things, hitting walls. That fits actually in the first category when you destroy property in front of your partner. It may not be harming them. Maybe you're destroying your own property, but it creates the sense of I could hurt you if I wanted to. And it's too scary. So we don't destroy things, we don't throw things, we don't hit the wall.

None of that is fair Fighting, no threats. And when we think of threats without to think of threats to harm through abuse. Through physical engagement, but also no threats of abandonment. It is not a fair fight If you say, well fine, I guess you don't wanna be married anymore or fine, I guess I'm just gonna have to get, call it a boy's lawyer, right?

Like fair fighting is, we are staying on this topic and we are figuring out how to work it out together, not, I guess this means we can't be together. If you need to say to the person you're with, you don't want to be with them anymore. That is your right. But you need to do that in a way that is include.

and thought through and fair to them because you're letting them know that you've already made a decision. It is not fair to throw big things like that into a fight because it makes the fight a much more intense situation than it is without the threat of your relationship. Ending a fair fight is fair because both people take full responsibility for their own actions and behaviors with and the fight fair.

usually aren't long fights and they aren't below the belt fights, and they don't get brutal and they don't end up in extra wounds that you need to repair. Fair fights involve two people in emotional states owning their ability to regulate themselves and trying to figure out how to get their points and needs across without harming themselves or each other.