I get asked quite often how to avoid getting sucked into fights. People are usually frustrated and worn out when they ask this. There have been too many times where a simple request or observation morphed into the mother of all show downs. So I understand the frustration, and I still see the need to back up and talk about the difference between a fight and a discussion/confrontation.
Lots of people ask me about stopping the fighting and what they actually want is to get what they need without ever having to confront another human being again. Nice try. Won’t happen. You will have to tell people that you disagree with them. You will need to stand up for your needs and beliefs. That doesn’t mean you have to fight about it.
So as a starter to this topic, here’s the top five differences between a fight and a discussion.
1)Discussions are about facts. Fights are about feelings.
2)Discussions meet anger with a blank space and redirection. Fights meet anger with escalating anger.
3)Discussions have changes in voice tone, emotion and reaction time. Fights have volume that only goes louder and one emotion; ANGER.
4)Discussions stick to one point or keep coming back to that point. Fights bring up multiple issues,and go off on tangents.
5)Discussions are about the future and what will happen next. Fights are about the past and who is at fault for it.
If you’re finding most of your interactions at work or home veering towards a fight, that doesn’t mean you’re stuck forever. Just being aware of this short list can help you start changing. Once you see where it gets ugly, you can start making choices about that process.
I go in depth on these top five and some great ways to stop fighting in the newsletter that you can sign up for!