The discipline of Psychology has come up with some fairly simple rules to follow for fighting fair, and it amazes me how each and every day we ignore these rules and suffer again and again from their lessons.
The recent shooting in Arizona has brought up a lot of this, but I am reminded when I hear of bullying, the divorce rate, and the constant battle of the media and politics. While Psychology is far from perfect, it is an evolving discipline (as are we) and I would think we would take at least what we do know, and use it to our advantage.
Fighting fair is an art, and it needs to be taught in school and practiced throughout every relationship. Yet it takes a great deal of discipline, and it seems few have it. The amount of hurtful words we are constantly spewing out of our mouths, on an hourly basis, is creating a majorly toxic environment. Our kids are learning how to treat each other through the television, politicians, adults, and teachers – and what kinds of fighting are we doing every day? Some simple (don’t confuse simple with easy) rules:
In all of my years studying psychology, reading books, and being around others who fight, the only thing I have ever seen work in solving relationship issues in a positive way is this type of fighting, using the principles of imago therapy.
Imago uses the above concepts and principles, gives both people tools to set the ego aside, and forces constructive listening on both parties. It is a painful process for most as it forces self-exploration, but the rewards in relationships are incredible.
Who was it that said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, yet expecting a different result? Albert Einstein. It amazes me that we continue to do it in all types of relationships throughout life – politics, marriages, friendships, and parenting, yet wonder why we are unhappier with the ‘other side’ and not making progress.
We disregard the rules, make our points louder, show complete disrespect to others’ opinions and beliefs, and question daily why we don’t live in a more peaceful world where we feel safe and secure enough to accomplish great things.
The only person we can control is ourselves and our own actions. So what will it take to bring about real change?
Last reviewed: 11 Jan 2011