The Quickest Way to End a Fight

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Ok so we’ve all gotten into fights…with friends, partners, classmates, colleagues. And we all wish these fights would stop. But the way we usually respond actually doesn’t end up resolving the conflict. Why? Because what we usually do is blame the other person. HE was so mean. SHE had no right to speak to me that way.

And these things may be true, but if we focus on what the OTHER person did, we keep ourselves stuck. 

Because we actually have NO POWER over what anyone else does, so our energy gets wasted on a fruitless conquest. Meanwhile, the things we DO have power over - which could very easily end the conflict, we blatantly ignore. 

And for good reason! Because the power we have to stop fights involves feeling things we don’t want to feel. Resolving conflict is all about taking accountability for our OWN part of the drama, which is often not a very easy or enjoyable prospect.

And no matter how much we would like to convince ourselves otherwise, there is ALWAYS a role that we’re playing. 

I have to re-learn this practically every day in my relationship! Every time I have a disagreement with my boyfriend, my mind immediately jumps to why HE is a jerk, and what HE should do differently….

But the more we practice seeing things a different way, the better and better able we are able to deal with conflicts as they arise so that disagreements can come and go with ease rather than turning into giant fights that last for days…

SO, here are some simple steps that anyone can follow to help resolve any kind of relationship/friendship conflict:

1 - TAKE A BREATH. It’s impossible to gain perspective in an argument when we’re actually IN the argument. Take some space, go for a walk, do something else that can give your mind a bit of rest to process what’s happening.

2 - DON’T GO COMPLAIN TO ANOTHER FRIEND ABOUT WHAT JUST HAPPENED. It’s a natural instinct to want someone else to validate “our side of the story” and if we look for that, we will definitely find it. But the issue with this is that all it will do is make us MORE angry and self-righteous in our own opinion, which will keep the conflict going. This is not to say that you can’t talk about your struggles with others - this is a GREAT thing to do, but if you can first process how YOU feel about it, you will resolve things a whole lot faster. Let yourself feel your feelings. If you’re going to talk to someone, let it be someone who can guide you to process what you feel, not someone who will tell you you’re right and the other person is wrong.

3 - Ask yourself - WHAT PART AM I PLAYING IN THIS? Your mind will want to focus solely on the injustice of what the other person did, but this mental trap will keep you feeling angry, resentful, and combative, which will mean you will continue to carry around the argument, and it will keep affecting you negatively for longer. Give yourself time for this one, as it can take a while to see what we’re doing that’s unhelpful!

4 - OWN YOUR SIDE. Once you have gotten clear about the role you played, acknowledge it to the other person (if it’s safe and it’s a relationship you actually want to continue). We all want the OTHER person to be the one to apologise first, but in reality, if you can rise above this desire YOU GET THE REWARD - which is to let it go and move forward with your life rather than staying stuck in the argument

5 - SET A BOUNDARY. If this is a pattern and this person is violating your boundaries in a way you don’t like, take space from them or tell them what they did was not ok. Do whatever you need to do to protect yourself. Once you empower yourself in this way, you don’t need to be angry at them any more. You are taking charge and you no longer need anything from them to make it right. 

6 - MOVE ON. Let it go. Remember that what they did is about THEM not YOU, and you can choose to find empathy for them rather than aggression. If you can see that their actions were coming from their own pain, it will stop hurting you because you will know it’s NOT YOUR FAULT. 

This is the real reason fights hurt us so much - deep down we feel SHAME about what happened…but this passes once we can process our feelings, take accountability, set a boundary, and empathise with the other person.

Check out my Youtube video here to see how a 16-year-old pro handles this process. 

Hayley Watsonarticles