6 Ways To Fight (More Productively) in the New Year

Conflict can be disorienting in part because more is typically at stake than we know.

On the surface, a conflict may be about who forgot to respond to an invitation, how the money is spent, or whose in-laws we’ll visit this year. But below the surface there are each person’s social motives (the desire to be connected, recognized, trusted, valued, respected) and emotional ones (the desire to avoid having someone yell at us, or to avoid disappointing someone).

To navigate this conflict crucible, we need to work through differences and reach agreements in ways that protect our social and emotional goals. Dr. Hal Movius, an acclaimed psychologist and author of Resolve: Negotiating Conflicts with Greater Confidence, shares tips on how to fight better with your partner in the year ahead.

Don’t start by criticizing. A criticism describes or implies the other person, rather than their actions, as the problem. Complaining that someone didn’t do the dishes? That’s okay. But smiling sweetly and saying, “I guess someone didn’t do the dishes again…so typical.” Ouch. Try to avoid criticisms and instead describe the behaviour or issue you want to discuss and the effect it has on you.

Practice your opening. Most fights take a turn for better or worse in the first few minutes. Practice your opening sentence(s) out loud; record them on your phone or laptop and play them back. Better still, find a friend to give you feedback and suggestions. You will feel clearer and more empowered when the time comes, and more likely to launch a productive conversation rather than provoking defensiveness.

Start with a constructive frame. Suggest a positive outcome that you would like to shoot for, rather than a problem or behaviour. “I’d like to figure out how we can make sure the bills get paid on time,” is a much more productive opening than, “What will it take for you to be more responsible?!”

Create ground rules together. Healthy couples know that conflict is a part of our best relationships, and they discover ground rules over time that keep things manageable. Examples: no serious or worrisome topics after 6:00pm; no using the words “always” and “never.” Sometimes walking together side by side is a better way to hash things out than sitting face to face. The important thing is: make the rules together. Suggest one or two yourself, and ask your partner for his or hers.

Think outside the box. Compromise happens when each person starts with a position, gives ground, meeting in the middle – and often feeling unsatisfied. When the stakes are high, new options or solutions are key. To find them, ask questions to understand what is most important to the other side. Share what’s most important to you. And declare a period of brainstorming so that you invent before deciding.

Don’t forget repair moves. When things start to spiral in an unhelpful direction, think about making what John Gottman calls “repair moves” to set the process on a different course. These include using humour or silliness (gestures or comments that both of you find tension-relieving); reminiscing about a positive time together; asking for help; or suggesting a change in process (“Could we just brainstorm for two minutes? I bet there might be other options than the ones we’re struggling with.”)

Research suggests that among all daily stressors, interpersonal conflict is the most stressful. But it also shows that the health of a relationship depends more on how we handle conflict than whether we avoid it. In 2017, your most powerful resolution might be to fight more productively.


  1. BeatrixHarv
    December 19, 2016

    Thank you very much Priest Ajigar for i never thought any thing could make my husband come back to me as his wife again after he broke up with me and left to settle down with another woman who never Knew how we both suffered and share feelings together in USA but thank God today i was lucky to see this great spell caster on a site after seeing a lots of testimony and good work he have done in the lives of people helping them to get their ex,husbands and wife renewing their relationship i was convinced and i contacted him and just in 3 days after the spell was done my beloved husband came looking for me and right now we are together again and he is taking care of me and the little kids as his responsibilities and family.I advice today if you are looking for a real and powerful spell caster just know that Priest Ajigar is a very powerful and a genuine spell caster and he don’t do dark or black magic can get ex back before Xmas, I’m already guaranteed of a great Xmas with my family since i have my husband back, you here is his email(priestajigarspells@live.com) You can as well email him for other spells , Spiritual Guidance, Beauty spell, Healing spells for sickness, Infertility, good sex drive or need good erection, Metal illness, Depression spirit and Addiction to drugs.

  2. erdrichlouise
    January 3, 2017

    You will find corticoTestosterone, which can
    quickly reduce swelling and inflammation. They answered my questions and
    concerns making me feel relaxed. I decided to go with their Testosterone Levels
    site and seemed very knowable about everything sees this here at

  3. erdrichlouise
    January 3, 2017

    You will find corticoTestosterone, which can
    quickly reduce swelling and inflammation. They answered my questions and
    concerns making me feel relaxed.

  4. theresawilliam111
    January 24, 2017

    Hello, I am Theresa Williams After being in relationship with Anderson for years, he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to my friend and she suggested that I should rather contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that never believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I mailed the spell caster, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4 pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him that was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem. email:  you can email him if you need his assistance in your relationship or any other Case.
    1) Love Spells
    2) Lost Love Spells
    3) Divorce Spells
    4) Marriage Spells
    5) Binding Spell.
    6) Breakup Spells
    7) Banish a past Lover
    8.) You want to be promoted in your office/ Lottery spell
    9) want to satisfy your lover
    Contact this great man if you are having any problem for a lasting solution

  5. jennifermorgan0147
    January 26, 2017

    (I PROMISED Dr Zumali Ahmed http://www.quicksolutionspell.com TO SHARE THIS GREAT TESTIMONY TO EVERYONE THAT COMES MY WAY.) Please bear with me and read on! I noticed a sudden change when my husband started cheating on me.’For the worse,’he started treating me and our little kids as total strangers’.I knew once that something has gone wrong. I hired a private investigator that cost me a lot to help monitor his moves. Sadly,i was told he was seeing another woman. It turned out right to be what i was thinking. I couldn’t just believe it so i confronted him with the pictures,but he denied it bluntly. he said she was just a lady he had some working project with but foolishly i believed him.But on one faithful day, i caught them red handed and that moment my heart stopped pumping for a while as i bust into tears. I have never seen in his eyes so much hatred before, to the extent that he would have to cheat on me. I still remember his very words ” “KEEP THE HOUSE AND YOUR SICK KIDS! He stopped coming home from that day. I tried all i could to make him come back home but all my efforts proved abortive till i stumbled on an article online about a spell caster: Dr Zumali Ahmed how he castes love spell to reunite broken relationships.But At first, I told myself it was a scam because i never believed in such but as pressure from my husband’s lawyer increased i became desperate and gave it a chance.You never know until you break down the walls and give something a chance.Though i know it sounds too desperate but i love my husband and wanted him back.i contacted the love spell caster Dr Zumali Ahmed via his website and his phone number.I followed all his instructions and everything happened just as he said. My husband came back to me after 24 hours of preparing the love spell and we have been living for some years now without any problem. People call Doctor Inusa as nice man but i call him a God sent! Here is my phone number +13525870348 text me for any information. Do you need help for these areas: MARITAL PROBLEMS,DEPRESSION, STROKE,CANCER,DIABETES,BREAK UP,LOVE SPELL,INSTANT DEATH REVENGE ,INFERTILITY PROBLEM, EX. REMOVAL, BAD LUCK,ATTRACTION,WIN A LOTTO,CONTRACT,PROMOTION AT WORK, RECOVERING BACK LOST FUNDS OR DEBT i advice you to contact Dr Zumali Ahmed with this information: Cell&watsap; +27784916490 Website:http://www.quicksolutionspell.com Email: drzumalispellcaster@yahoo.com

Post Comment