I think we can all agree that fighting with others is never fun. My older sister, Danielle, is a Libra rising. Libra’s hate conflict & disharmony when it comes to their life, among friends, family, & even pets. As a little girl, she once screamed her head off in the middle of two little boys on the playground who were about to start fighting. Ironically, her scream stopped the two boys in their tracks, as they stood there wondering why she was screaming & forgot all about why they were fighting to begin with. My sister is also usually quick to yell & break up any fights between our dogs. Growing up with someone who highly values fairness & justice taught me a lot. We’ve only been living together again since June, but in these past 10 months, I’ve learned a lot about how I communicate & what I could be doing better to ensure that I always keep the peace between us. This is something that I’ve decided to term as learning how to fight “productively”.
My sister & I’s communication has always struggled, since we were kids. After my younger brother was born, I felt like she abandoned me. She suddenly didn’t want to spend time with me or play with me anymore, because she wanted to be a 2nd mom to our brother. It hurt a lot the way she would completely ignored me at times. As a Capricon sun (me) & a Cancer sun (her), we also have completely opposite personalities. We fought pretty regularly until I moved away for college when I was 18.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I am very blunt, direct, & solutions-focused in the way that I communicate. She on the other hand is overly emotional, sensitive, & likes to talk through her thoughts & ramble on until she finally gets to her point. I’ve learned that I need to constantly watch my tone with her because she always immediately assumes that I’m mad at her. When in reality, if I’m focused on something else, my tone of voice will naturally change because my mind & thoughts are elsewhere. Sometimes, I only respond out of courtesy as to not be rude, but this usually leads to a fight, due to her assumption that I’m purposely choosing to be snarky towards her.
To combat this issue, we decided to ask each other non-work-related questions whenever we’re on a break from work, during lunch, or after work hours altogether. I always want her to feel heard & comfortable with talking to me because it’s never my intention to be mean. By limiting important discussions & questions to certain times of the day, I’m able to focus on the topic at hand & devote all of my brainpower to fixing whatever issue or upcoming plans that we need to sort out when it’s easier for me to be focused. It’s really made a huge difference in the way we communicate & stopped a lot of unnecessary, meaningless fights.
Another way to think of it is if you have a favorite sports team… it’s natural to always want your team to win. You will automatically brand any opposing team as the enemy, so when your team plays well & gets that win, you’re more likely to celebrate. Having winners & losers are definitely more fun when it comes to sports, but not so much when it comes to your relationships.
If you continuously fight with your family members or your romantic partners with the intention of “winning” the argument, there isn’t actually a good reason to celebrate. Because in shouting & shoving your opinion down the throat of the other party to “win”, all you’re really doing is ensuring that they “lose”. When you proactively chose to make the other party a “loser”, you both lose in the end. By making someone else feel like a “loser”, you lose empathy, intimacy, togetherness, & so much more in your connection with them.
When you choose to fight productively, you focus on finding the best solution for both parties, not winning. Resolving conflict in your everyday life should be about respecting each other’s point of view on the issue & working together to ensure that everyone feels heard, loved, & respected. The best possible outcome will always be one where you feel happy & positive that you’ve both won with the final solution. At the end of the day, ensuring to always nurture & create a healthy relationship dynamic is the real “WIN”.