How to fight with those you love….

by Rod Smith

“Rules of engagement” for conflict between friends and lovers and members of the family:

1. We fight to love each other more powerfully while understanding that conflict is sometimes necessary to remove or negotiate our way around natural restrictions that come in the way of all love.

2. We fight to better understand each other and because some deeply seated beliefs and positions are only clarified through benign conflict.

3. We do not fight to hurt, damage, or destroy but rather to clarify thinking, to define ourselves more clearly, and therefore, to see each other more fully.

4. When we fight we do not bring old issues into the fray, triangle others onto our side, or hide behind Scripture or other sacred writing.

5. When we fight we do not use stereotypes about men or women, race, creed, culture, or nationality.

6. We put a time limit on our conflicts, agreeing that the necessary conflict will not pervade every part of our relationship. Troubles in parts of our relationship do not need to contaminate the whole.

7. When we fight we will always give each other the benefit of the doubt, the offer of complete forgiveness, and an open dialogue free of cynicism, sarcasms, and retribution.

8. We will agree to disagree, respect our differences, and embrace our similarities. (From Gail S. Gibbons)

5 Comments to “How to fight with those you love….”

  1. 8. We will agree to disagree, respect our differences and embrace our similarities.

  2. I thought this wa so important that I sent it to Anne and Brendy. This article spoke volumes to me. I’m trying to practice it now after 50 years of passive/aggressive behavior. I’m a people pleaser and that does not carry you through life. It can have dangerous results.

  3. Thanks Rod!

  4. Brilliant – applicable in the boardroom too

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