0098 – How to Calmly Keep a Fight From Getting Worse – Fight Week!


This week is all about conquering conflict, and now we’re in an argument, how do we get out cleanly, with as little damage done to us, and our partner?

By the end of this episode:

  • 8 tips for exiting an argument when you’ve found yourself in one

Describe the problem

…You don’t know how you got into this fight in the first place. Or maybe you do, but it wasn’t entirely intentional (you just happen to put your foot in your mouth a lot). How do you exit an argument before it snowballs into something bigger? And how do you get out with a spirit of resolve rather than, “Let’s just get this over with?”

Segment #1

  1. 8. Don’t defend yourself – I KNOW she didn’t just say what I think she did…now you have a choice. You can immediately shoot back about how they’re wrong, guaranteeing another response like the one you just got, or you can refuse to defend yourself and stop the hits from coming on that topic
  2. 7. Don’t generalize – Penny Lorreto – Overgeneralizing often adds fuel to the fire. Statements like “you always” and “you never” are usually met with defensiveness and in most cases they just aren’t totally true. Rather than coming together and both parties feeling that they’re being heard and respected, overgeneralizations are usually used to point the blame all in one direction.
  3. 6. Step away – The rulebook doesn’t say that you have to have this fight, right now, in this frame of mind. Take 20 minutes and come back with some perspective. Some things are literally only important in a specific moment, and those bad moments can taint your relationship forever
  4. 5. Listen – You can see their mouth moving, you’re pretty sure that sound is exiting their lips, but you’re busy working on your next chance to talk. If you were actually listening, you’d know that they just offered an olive branch to you, and the argument could have ended right there…

Segment #2

  1. 4. Use their frame – Nothing is more humbling than thinking from your partners point of view during an argument. You’ll see yourself how they see you, and then you can be in a better place to know where you need to argue, and where you need to fix a behavior that you have. Give it a shot, you might like it.
  2. 3. No new issues – How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. It’s draining to keep up with 8 different topics, but it’s freeing to finally finish one issue. ant to clam an irate partner down, actually let them finish their argument, and resolve the problem without adding more.
  3. 2. Accept criticism – I’m going to tell you something no one else will. Sometimes you just suck. While your partner might be bad at articulating that fact, the faster you accept it, the faster you can get back to being the person that they love. Don’t fight just because you don’t like what the mirror is showing you.


Final Thoughts:

#1. Don’t attack your partner – “I hate you!!!” No you dont, you just hate my morning breath. When you make it personal, your partner keeps that criticism for much longer than the argument lasts. They can easily stop putting the toilet seat up, or start brushing their teeth more, but how can they fix that you hate them? Watch your words during an argument, each one either turns the volume up, or down.


  • Elijah’s Thoughts
    • Don’t shut down
  • Sarah’s Thoughts

In Closing

If you have a question, comment, or funny story about [INSERT SHOW TOPIC] we have a private SafeSpace on facebook where we talk about all sorts of social, professional, and romantic relationship topics, and after every show you can go there and share you story, get some advice from great people or just hang out. Both Sarah and I are there every day and you can be there too, just go to www.relationspodcast.com/join and click the “Join Now’ button.

Until we meet again, keep striving to make every relationship you have the best it can possibly be, including the one with yourself. We’ll talk soon.

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