Conflict vs. Fighting

I talk a lot on this blog about the difference between conflict and fighting, and I think that it’s high time I talked about the difference between the two.  I’ve mentioned that conflict is unavoidable in the past, but what is it that separates conflict from fighting.

Conflict is Going to Happen

Conflict is what happens when two people disagree.  If I like the thermostat to be set at 65, and you like it to be set at 75, we have a conflict.  It does not need to be destructive, and many times they can be navigated easily so long as both parties are willing to listen to one another.  I say navigated because not all conflicts can be resolved.  Resolution is not always the goal, but all conflict can build up a relationship if it’s done constructively.

Fighting is a Choice

Fighting is what happens when the people in conflict become more focused on “winning” than navigating the issue at hand.  When a conflict becomes a fight, it’s likely that it grows out from one of those Four Horsemen I talk about so much.

Conflicting without fighting

Contrary to what pop culture will tell you, it is possible to conflict without fighting.  Here is a simple guide to the basics rules for conflict.

Start Softly

Even if the point of conflict is something intense, it is vital to start the conversation softly.  Conversations tend to end how they start, so a harsh start is likely to result in a harsh end.

Focus on One Issue

As the conversation progresses, it may be tempting to bring other issues in; but by focusing on having a free and open discussion about the issue at hand, escalation can be avoided.

Respect Each Other

This one should go without saying.  If you care about each other, your fights need to reflect that or else resentment and contempt may start to build.  Remember that both of your perspectives are valid, whether you agree or not.

So there are a few quick tips on how to keep fights from getting dirty.  What are your thoughts?  What are some things that you do to avoid non-productive fighting?  Leave a comment, like, and share if you’re so inclined!

Also, I am aware that my posting schedule has been a bit erratic lately.  I have had other projects going and they have been distracting me a little bit.  I will work on being more focused on this blog, though!


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