How Your Fighting Style Affects Your Relationship

Arguments are apart of every relationship. If you haven't had an argument yet, you haven't been dating for long enough. The thing that makes each and every one of us so beautiful is the same thing that makes us all so very different. It's our individuality; our personality fingerprint. Hopefully, you'll find a lot of similarities with your significant other. More than likely, you'll also find a lot of differences. These differences can be small and insignificant or they can be exactly the right size of importance to lead to an argument. And that is okay. Arguments can be healthy.

One way to keep arguments healthy is to understand your fighting style. Debbie Mandel describes four fighting styles in her book Turn On Your Inner Light.

  • The Boxer: If you are a boxer, you’ll take a tit-for-tat approach. Rather than calmly explaining why being called stupid upsets you, you’ll fire back with an equal or worse insult.
  • The Smiler: Mandel describes this fighting style as a person who smiles yet “holds a dagger behind the back.” Essentially, the smiler will pretend that everything is OK, yet hold a grudge for a very long time.
  • The Stone Waller: This is the passive-aggressive stance many people take during a fight. It’s the “Nothing’s wrong, I’m fine!” said even when there is clearly something wrong. After all, you didn’t used to give short answers to your partner’s questions or purse your lips all the time, did you?
  • The Diplomat: This fighter should definitely run for office. She is a regular politician and knows how to smooth over anything, and I do mean anything. Before a diplomat tells you that your latest cooking efforts are better left in the trashcan, he or she will preface the soon-to-be huge disagreement with, “You’re looking lovely today” or, “Have you been working out?”

Another way to ease up on the arguments is to talk about differences before things get heated. A lot of these conversations could happen over a nice dinner or even during a date night. The lighter atmosphere will put both of you in a better mood allowing a better chance for compromise.