When you have a fight or a disagreement with someone, before you do too much back and forth, I’m-right-no-I’m-right, etc., be very clear on what you are fighting about. Now, that may sounds stupid. Of course you know what you’re fighting about. Why else would you be fighting?
First of all, it is entirely possible that the two of you are saying the same thing, but using different words to express it. This is especially true if it’s between a man and a woman. I cannot tell you how many fights I’ve resolved for couples by saying, “Okay, do you understand that when s/he says this, s/he means this?” It’s amazing. On an episode of The Nanny, Fran says something that sounds ridiculous and Max says, “Darling, I know that made sense in here [pointing to her head], but I’m out here.”
And make sure you know exactly what it is that is bothering you. Again, sounds stupid, right? But it’s often not as obvious as you think. When something is really bothering us, we often are not ready to face that, so we unconsciously get upset and yell about something else instead. A business partner once thought I was being unreasonable about something and when I complained about it to a friend, he said, “Well, I don’t understand what you’re upset about either.” But I was upset. So, he and I discussed it until I got to what the real problem was. I went back to my partner with this new information and she said, “Oh, yeah, I can see how that would look like that to you.” Now that we knew what the problem actually was, it was pretty easy to figure out a solution.
So, just take a minute to think about that before you invest too much time and energy in a fight.