The Fighting Fair Assessment: An Exercise

What is Fighting Fair?

Do you and your partner have regular disagreements? Do you feel like you don’t “get” each other or end the disagreement without mutual understanding? Take this quick assessment to see how you and your partner tend to fight, and how you can start communicating better and improving your relationship.

Instructions

Think about how you and another person (your partner, perhaps) handle disagreements. Write down the number that corresponds to how often the statement occurs.

1 = never, 2 = rarely, 3 = sometimes, 4 = often, 5 = very often

The Statements

  • We fight
  • We name call
  • Things get out of control when we argue — one (or both) of us gets nasty or abusive
  • There are bad feelings for a long time afterward
  • Past issues from your current relationship come up during disagreements
  • There’s frustration even before we deal with problems
  • We forget what we’re fighting about but continue to fight
  • One of us must win
  • We place blame
  • Neither of us listens to the other

Score Evaluation

If you’re a “perfect 10,” check for a pulse in your relationship. Is there any life in there? Maybe you are able to talk about the difficult and important things very well, but if you’re not talking, you don’t have much of a relationship. It really does take a little spice to keep any relationship alive.

Up to 20, you probably have created a balance that allows each of you to express yourselves in a positive and constructive way. You have a relationship that is all too rare these days. Cherish what you have and remember to keep right on talking and solving those problems before they get in the way of your growth. Communication like this keeps friendships alive and flowers on your pillow. Romantic passion finds more room in hearts that aren’t full of anger and frustration.

Keep the passion alive. Read our relationship blog for advice and tips.

We all want a little excitement in our lives but this is dangerous territory. If your score is at the high end, you may be heading into long term trouble. It may be fun and hot to make-up but be aware that if your words are harsh and mean spirited, they can wound like a knife to the heart…forever. One mean word usually draws another like angry bees swarming. You have a choice not to sting.

Change the course of you fights by seeking to understand your partner rather than just defending your position. Understanding is powerful even when you don’t agree. We all feel better and safer when we are understood. The majority of problems don’t even need to be solved…we just want to know that our partner cares enough to listen and understand.

Learn more about couples counseling and how it can help you and your partner strengthen your relationship.

Nobody wins these ongoing fights. You have to change before someone gets hurt any more. Maybe you’re fighting because it’s the only thing you know how to do or maybe it’s the only time you get any attention. Even at that, you probably still feel lonely and trapped. It’s time for you to get help from a counselor, therapist or other professional or get out.

Read about how couples counseling works or get in touch with us. All inquiries are confidential.

Don’t wait: If you’re worried about your relationship, reach out today.

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