Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Fair Fight or; Quit Talking When I'm Talking

Look, here's the thing:

Right. So I'm supposed to be at work right now, pioneering the world of alternative health, but I'm currently so frazzled by a week spent arguing with various persons that I don't think I can be trusted with the treatment of your infant's colic at the moment. That's what coffee breaks are for, right (if I never go back...does that still count as a "break?")?

My Scare-apist (or Frownselor, depending upon your damage,) was actually the one that gave me the idea for this. After a session spent unraveling my clusterfuck of a week latest disagreements she noted its potential usefulness in a blog post. See, she's smart and hip.

So how are arguments started and how do they get remedied? Arguments are the point at which that boundary you've created for yourself, that emotion-fence, has been breached. The emotion serves as the indicator that something, indeed, has gone wrong, and now we've come to the point that It Needs To Be Discussed, because right now I Just Feel Like Shit And You Are The Reason Why.

But now here's the hard part. Unless you have the unfortunate disposition of being schizophrenic, most arguments are held between two parties. Like you and your partner. Or you and your friend. Or you and your dog, but at that point I'd like to note that sorry, whatever problem you have with your dog is YOUR FAULT because you raised him, you awful parent you. So stop yelling when he barfs in your shoes.

Seeing as two people are now part of the discussion, you do have every right to yell and scream and bitch about how pissed off you are. You may throw your barfy shoes, if you so desire. But then you are wholly responsible for the backlash. Stop telling me that your boyfriend doesn't listen when you scream at him for using your curling iron as a fly swatter, because chances are if you have indeed come at him swinging it, he is unlikely to See Your Point Of View.

Arguments are about cooperation. Arguments are about unearthing pieces of yourself that can only be seen when they feel wronged. Arguments are about mending and repairing; about moving forward to the next thing so that you may become stronger knowing each new vital piece of information about one another.

After many lengthy discussions about the pieces of her relationship that were keeping them from moving forward, one Very Special Person came to me simply giddy over the argument she and her saucy boyfrann had recently had. Turns out, laying things out on paper is not an activity confined to the weeping families on Intervention, and according to her it really worked. Two and a half hours later, the two happily skipped into the sunset having honestly pinned each other to the wall over their respective woes.

What I'm trying to say here is that being honest with what you're feeling about someone else is the only way to argue successfully. It takes sitting with yourself to find where the anger comes from and why. It takes being still with that feeling to get at the root of its origin.

And on the flip side, you have to really be willing to listen to what the other person is saying in order to move forward. Relationships are two-way streets. No one person is right and no one person is wrong, but the two of you can learn to communicate what your individual boundaries and feelings are, even if it takes some yelling and screaming first. And if you really care about someone, isn't that the true goal? To come to a mutual understanding so that you can move forward?

To be fair, I don't feel like I'm totally qualified to be writing this right now. I've had enough huffy walking-away, angry stare-down, yelling-screaming-silent-seething fights for one week. I've been wrong and I've felt wronged. But at the end of the day, I care too much about what I'm fighting says about me about and those I'm fighting with to hold onto it for too long. All I can hope for is that we get through it stronger, knowing more about one another each time.

Now can somebody please buy me a drink already? It is my BIRTHDAY-EVE.

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