Choosing Your Battles: Relationships and Fighting
It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.
It’s only natural for there to be some friction in relationships, romantic or platonic. Nobody’s perfect and sometimes somewhat overly so. When you’re in a relationship, little things can have a big impact and it’s important to know your threshold for frustration and anger, and the other persons’ as well. This will help you choose your battles with them and help make a less stressful partnership.
There can be any number of reasons for a fallout or failing. One of the following may sound similar to what you’re going through and the suggested solution may help, or it can help you find a way to your own.
You have an idealized version of what love or friendship should be like, and whenever something happens that doesn’t fit, you fight.
– Ask yourself, could YOU meet those standards you’ve set for your partner?
– These things that bother you, have you done them or something similar to them?
– Put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
– Focus on giving the kind of love you would want to receive rather than feeling sorry for yourself for the love you think you’re not getting.
Don’t allow anyone to treat you poorly, but recognize what those signs are and what they aren’t. Sometimes they indicate that a person is simply human and doing the best they can.
Rather than expressing what you feel, you pick at the little things, building up anger and resentment… Or, you have outside stressors that you are allowing to affect your interpersonal relationships because venting to them is easy.
– Is there a more important conversation that needs to take place? Something you need to say that you didn’t, or is there something you need to work out on your own?
– Do you think the other person doesn’t respect you? Do you worry you’re unworthy or are holding onto a grudge about something that happened years ago?
– Allow yourself space to find out what you want; treat yourself better. Maybe you’re working too hard or trying to force something to happen that should happen organically.
Let the little things go and look for the elephant in the room.
All of your relationships involve lots of drama because this is the only way you know how to be in a relationship of any kind.
– Maybe you grew-up around chaos and you feel more secure when you’re yelling, being yelled at, or making up. It might feel weird to NOT have any friction.
– Sit alone with your feelings, meditate, and learn to minimize your internal drama. Release your anxious energy in positive ways and explore what relationships are like without it. It may go slowly, but you’ll find yourself feeling more secure.
– If you’re more excited about the drama that fighting creates, focus on finding new sources of excitement. Try something new, together or alone. Feel alive without having to bring someone else down to do it.
If you’re in a relationship that is not good for you and you are scared to leave, realize it’s not a battle but actually recognizing that things cannot go on as they have been. If you can be honest with yourself and find that you have more pain than joy, move on to the second step – tell someone else. Tell a friend you need help and support to get the courage to walk away. Someone who loves you will be strong enough to help you get through the scary part, if you let them.
If you really want to make your relationship work, it may be time to see a counsellor, either apart or together, to get the ball rolling. It’ll take work, but if you want it, it’s worth it.