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There’s no shame in walking away from a fight

25 July 2014, 10:12Saffiya Ismail

Abuja - I was always afraid to put my neuroses on display — but recently I keep thinking I’m a writer, and if my neuroses don’t feed my writing then why bother writing?

Disagreements happen all the time in life, with different people, but the worst has to be fighting with a loved one, mother, sibling or spouse.

From small insignificant things, to big things, to external happenings which impact on a relationship, to the demons from the past which haunt a person. Some people can have an intelligent debate, and some can just be plain “ugly”.

After these fights, we sit back and wonder about the actual source of the conflict, what was the actual starting point.

Why do we hurt each other so deeply?

The duration of the fights; the communication link either shutting down or remaining open; depends on the severity of the altercation.

Some fights can be easily resolved. Then there are those serious altercations, which are prolonged and just don’t feel right.

No-one wants to be in a space where there is tension. Fighting is easy but it’s the aftermath which makes it painful and terrible.

Every one of us has a different way of fighting, some of us are aggressive, or passive aggressive, or we go into silent mode.

We try to make sense of what causes the veins in our temples to throb. Why do people throw darts at each other, with the bulls eye at the others heart?

After a fight do we really look at ourselves and our part in it, learn from it and mend our behaviour so as not to repeat this? Do we let it become an elephant in the room, and distance yourself from the one you are fighting with or vowing an oath never to speak to the person again?

Some people need validation, and tend to compromise a lot, whilst others are very volatile, and can erupt at anything. There are those hate conflict, and try to avoid it at all cost; but somehow get dragged into it. My type!

Relationships are not always a bed of roses, but we need to ensure that we are fair and balanced, so that when conflict or disagreements do arise, we can positively resolve issues.

I think most people go off track when they start seeing the person as an enemy rather than someone who is actually trying to help. If we all were the same, then life would be boring and mundane. Conflict arises when the one person fails to acknowledge the other persons opinion or view.

Some of us become so obsessed with wanting to make a person see it our way; we end up bashing them and slaying them with words and actions instead of cauterising the wound. It’s a dangerous game we play with ourselves, at its worst, it’s gruelling, a marathon of the heart, mind and our physical.

Not everyone enjoys tantrums or drama. Not everyone thrives on fighting and conflict.

You end up staring at a person who is throwing all their toys out of the cot, and all you are doing; is clenching your fists under the table until your nails cut into your palms so that you have the self-control so as not to explode like a volcano or you might just simply disengage.

It doesn’t have to be that way, why do we subject ourselves to such degrees of agony and collusion. Don’t we have a greater “responsibility” to ourselves to avoid fights or at least walk away instead of continuing on this battlefield knowing you will be slayed.

In all of this we do have a choice. We can engage or walk away.

It’s not easy to learn that you can be with someone, they can be kind to you, think you’re great, want to spend time with you, but turn into unrecognisable ogres when a fight arises.

In the end, there’s only a plea for empathy from the person who doesn’t fight fair. Empathy, and on the flip side, self-care. Take care of yourself. Stay in your power and do things that nurture your heart and soul.

If you the 'lover not a fighter' type, then it’s time to let it be known.

We forget to love ourselves, we forget that our Creator wants us to thrive and be happy. We are supposed to be wholesome beings not oppressed and scared individuals. We forget that we are co-creators of our lives.

If you are in a relationship/marriage which is fraught with conflict and constant fighting, reject the situation. Tell the other person you refuse to be pulled into this, instead of regretting or hating yourself later on for saying or doing something which is out of character. Remember that rejection is protection.

Fighting of any sort indicates that one person has taken a stance against another. This pits the one person against another; with an expectation that one of us will emerge as a winner and the other as the loser. Some become antagonists and all they want is too win.

Not many relationships have collaborative partnering. Not many people want to enter collaborative processes in relationship; they would rather shout and scream than resolve an issue side-by-side rationally.

In our workplaces, even if we hate / totally disagree with our colleagues or bosses, we never flip out the way we do at home with our partners, spouses or loved ones, even the most sensitive and difficult issues, gets solved by both parties pursuing mutual understanding.

Both seek to understand the other’s point of view as well as to express their own concerns. They work together to get a deeper understanding of the issue.

What makes a relationship or marriage different?

Why do we argue and hurt the ones we love?

Why do we not respect each other enough to open a pathway for understanding?

Most fights are about the same thing over and over again. It's the same fight you had last week; and 52 weeks in a row; the difference is we just get more hurtful than the last one and it gets bloodier.

We chip away the respect levels and caring side of each other. Bafflingly inescapable altercations, which stem from misunderstandings and emotional wounds.

We keep pushing each other’s boundaries; keep practicing how to hurt each other. We forget practice sometimes doesn't make perfect—it makes permanent.

What we've done before, we tend to do again. It may sound clichéd “life is too short” to spend it caught up in conflict and tension.

We should start learning a basic tenet of the old adage "Don't go to bed angry" whether it’s your spouse, mother, father, siblings or bff.

Don’t give anger or a fight; power over our lives and control over our emotional well-being. We need to stop misaligning our power.

Being the bigger person in a situation requires humility and restraint, therefore it should go without saying that you are going to 'be the bigger person'. No Matter how badly people treat you, never drop down to their level, just know you're better and walk away.

It takes a strong person to apologize, to admit mistakes openly and to ask for forgiveness. It takes an even stronger person to take that failure, recognize the importance of that mistake and learn from it.

If a fight is unavoidable at least fight fair, maintain your respect and composure. Be calm without losing your power to yourself; remember that you don’t have to obliterate another person, even if they go all out to annihilate you.

Some people thrive on the thrill of a fight or making the other person feel like nothing. Put your trust in a higher Power, because only he knows what he has in store for you. Let go a little and see what’s next. Stay true to your authentic self.

When you are feeling the vibrations of a fight coming on, don’t go chasing the storm, STOP, check in within yourself and be still.

If you seek out the path which averts this, then step away, don’t fill yourself up with anger, disdain, negativity or validation, you will only make it worse.

We can make a positive change for ourselves, Nomatter how upset we get, be wise, breathe and walk away.

Never say anything to hurt another, do not become your own worst enemy. Treat others as you want to be treated. It is our birthright to be kind, when you change, the whole world change with you.

That’s the true pulse of the human condition.

- Health24

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