Ten Ways to Head off a Fight

Ten Ways to Head off a Fight

  1. If you are on the receiving end of your mate's anger, resist the temptation to become defensive. If necessary, just shut up.
  2. Speak only to ask your mate to explain what you did that was upsetting and how it made him or her feel when you did it.
  3. Listen to the other person's point of view.
  4. Repeat back what your mate has told you.
  5. Ask if what you have repeated back accurately reflects what upset your mate.
  6. Repeat until your mate indicates that you have understood his or her point of view.
  7. Usually just understanding is sufficient to head off the storm. But if it is not, say the following: "You still seem upset, what can I say that would make you feel better?"
  8. If you are feeling attacked and criticized, say the following: "I know what I did was wrong, but it would really help for you to tell me what I can do differently in the future."
  9. Try to get your mate to reword the complaints or criticisms into positive suggestions for the future. For example: When mate says, "You never take me on dates anymore." You say: "I think you would like me to take you out on a date, more often, is that right?"
  10. Keep on practicing. It gets easier and easier to follow the above steps.

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