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Into each life a little rain must fall, or so the old saying goes.  And, for those of us with spouses or significant others, the “rain” in question often takes the form of the squabbles and arguments that are a part of any relationship.  Ah, wedded bliss.  But, fear not, we here at the Jungle Gym have studied the issues and have a few small rules to follow to keep your arguments from turning trips to the emergency room and interviews with the local law enforcement officials.

Rule #1 – No Personal Attacks: This should be a no-brainer, but it is amazing to me how many people in the heat of an argument, particularly one they are losing, will break out with some sort of personal jab that has exactly zero to do with the issue at hand.  Personally, I think this should be a rule of life, not just arguing.  Personal attacks have little to no value in solving anything.  They are just petty little jibes we pull out when we know we’re wrong and don’t want to admit it.  If the next thing that pops into your head to say is a petty little commentary that has nothing to do with the fight, you lost the argument.  Apologize, admit you were wrong, and deal with it.

Rule #2 – Once Over, The Fight Cannot Be Used As Ammo: Once the bell has rung, the ref has declared a winner, and someone raises the belt over their head in victory this fight is done.  It is inscribed into the annals of your relationships ancient lore and is left there to gather dust.  Scouring the old tales for useful ammunition in coming struggles is not permitted.  If you won the past confrontation, you have nothing left to prove.  If you lost, get over it.  If you have nothing new to add to the arguement, you lose.  See Rule #1 for instructions on the proper etiquette.

Rule #3 – Recognize Differences In Technique, But Do Not Exploit Them:  Everyone fights a little differently.  Much of this has to do with upbringing, personal psychology, and the like.  Make a point of learning how your significant other tends to fight.  Are they a screamer?  A calm debater?  Do they need to walk away for a while when it gets to hot to avoid an explosion?  Do they resort to violence? In all of these cases except for the last, recognize this, but don;t use it against them.  In order to have fights be productive there will need to be middle ground in technique so try to seek out compromise.  But, if that last one applies to you, screw them, call the cops and smile knowingly as their scumbag ass is dragged off to be Bubba’s new boyfriend.

Final, And Most Important, Rule:  In my household, this last rule has become the absolute be all, end all of outr arguments.  With this simple technique, fights can be ended easily when stalemate occurs with no hard feelings, and even a few chuckles.  If you follow this rule, then every fight will end in a more productive manner without the hurt feelings and brooding that follows in so many other cases.  The rule is simple, but vital.

When the fight has come to an impasse, they who sticks their tongue out first wins.  There is no appeal.

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