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Communication, Conflict & Commitment

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Fair Fighting Rules

Take a few minutes to make your own list of fair fighting rules. Making a list like this prior to an argument can save you a lot of time and heart-ache during an argument. You may even want to put your rules in a place where you will see them often to help you remember them (e.g., the bathroom mirror).

Return to the Checkup Questions

Go back to the questions in the Conflict Management Checkup section. Answer them with your partner once again. Discuss how your answers have changed since working through this module.

Pick an Issue

Pick an issue that you and your partner have struggled with. Talk about the issue once again. Only this time, use the skills you have just learned to manage and peaceably work through conflict.

Anger Management: The Rule of Twos

If you find yourself easily becoming angry, especially when you have a conflict with your partner, get your anger in check before you attempt to work through it. A great way to do this is to use the Rule of Twos . Use it the next time you become angry or upset. Here's how it works.

  1. Think about and identify your physical responses to anger (e.g., increased heart rate, rush of blood to the face and neck, tightening of your muscles, clenching your fists, grinding your teeth, etc.). Everyone has some physical responses to anger and no one goes from calm to angry without experiencing them.
  2. The second you get angry and experience these physical responses, that is your cue to stop and think before you do or say anything.
  3. Ask yourself the following questions. Will this thing that I am angry about matter in two minutes?, two hours?, two days?, two weeks?, two months?, or two years?
  4. Some things might matter in two years, but the majority of things we get upset about probably won't matter in two minutes, let alone two years.
  5. Depending upon how important the issue is, gauge your response accordingly, but do it calmly.
  6. If you fly off the handle, you can create a situation for yourself where something that was not that big of an issue can have a long-lasting negative impact on your relationship.

Copyright 2008, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource . admin. (2005, December 09). Communication, Conflict & Commitment. Retrieved January 08, 2011, from Free Online Course Materials — USU OpenCourseWare Web site: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons License