CLEAN FIGHTING

The more arguments you win, the fewer friends you’ll have.

All close and authentic relationships will at some point or another have conflicts that arise because of the different perspectives, values, and priorities that each person has. Conflict is not a bad thing. It actually gives you the opportunity to learn about each other’s values, priorities and concerns and can further deepen the closeness of a relationship when dealt with appropriately. I know this to be true in my life when there have been conflicts with the people close to me. Many people ignore or avoid the tension because they were never taught how to resolve the issues in relationships. Unfortunately, bad things grow naturally. Good things have to be planted. For most people, the lessons on how to deal with issues in a healthy way are learned too late or not at all for issues or tensions to be dealt with. Other people, myself included, have learned unhealthy ways of dealing with issues based on what was displayed from people in the environment in which we were raised in. The worst time to learn conflict resolution is in the middle of a conflict. What I want to accomplish with this lesson is to provide you with a set of tools that can be used in learning how to clean fight. A clean fight is the mature resolution of a conflict by eliminating dirty fighting and taking responsibility for the issues. It is the negotiation between two people for the sake of the relationship.[i]

Dirty Fighting Tactics[ii]

True peace will never come by pretending that what is wrong is right.

Silent Treatment – Sarcasm - Using “Always” or “Never” – Lecturing – Complaining Anger/Rage - Blaming/Attacking – Denying - Escaping - Addictions – Condescension - Walking Away - Passive-Aggressive Behavior - Threatening Gestures – Placating – Lying

Name Calling – Avoiding - Hitting/Violence – Criticizing – Shouting - Showing Contempt

Exercise: Before we can walk through the steps of a clean fight, we need to raise our awareness of what dirty fighting looks like. Let’s list the dirty fighting tactics that we may have learned. Use the section below to answer the following questions:

-What are your dirty fighting tactics?

-Where did you learn these dirty fighting tactics?

Please be honest in the process. Please know that in doing this work, you are working to break generational patterns of unhealthy relationships and set the stage for a new way of doing things. This is one of the most powerful exercises I have ever done in my life, and it has changed my life and relationships for the better.






Clean Fight Model[iii]

A clean fight is going to look and sound weird, but it’s important to walk through the mechanics of a clean fight over and over before you can get the hang of it. It’s like riding a bike or driving a car. Once you’ve done it enough times, it becomes second nature, but it takes a lot of practice. Remember this work is about changing the unhealthy and dysfunctional ways that you may have done things in past relationships so prepare for it to be uncomfortable knowing that you’re laying a foundation for breaking generational patterns of dysfunction.

1. State the problem. “I notice…”

2. State why it is important to you. “I value.”

3. Fill in the following sentence: “When you…I feel…”

4. State your request clearly, respectfully, and specifically.

5. Listener: Consider the request. In a few sentences, share your perspective on it.

6. Listener: Are you willing to do all of it, some of it, or none of it?

7. Speaker: Agree on the request.

Here’s a practical example of how the clean fight is done.

1. I notice that when you borrow my car, you tend to block the sidewalk and not pull the car all the way up.

2. I value an unobstructed sidewalk.

3. When you block the sidewalk with your car, I feel anxious. I worry that our neighbors will think we’re inconsiderate.

4. I would like to ask that you pull your car to the very end of the driveway when you arrive home first. If you forget, I would then like to ask that you take responsibility for moving both cars in all the way.

5. I had no idea it bothered you. For me, it is no big deal to move the car.

6. I am more than willing to do it. I have one adjustment though. I would like to ask that you remind me nicely if I forget to do it within 30 minutes.

7. It’s a deal.

Things to Remember

-If an alternative is offered, you can renegotiate but not more than three times. If it requires more than three adjustments, then get someone more objective like a coach, counselor, or a mature friend.

-You want to use this skill with things that are non-volatile. Here are a few examples:

-I notice you call after 11 p.m.

-I notice you leave dirty dishes in the sink for more than a day.

-I notice you rarely fill the car up with gas.

-I notice you don’t answer my e-mails for at least a week.

-I notice when we are out together in a restaurant that you pick your cell phone up at least three times.

Things to Remember

-If an alternative is offered, you can renegotiate but not more than three times. If it requires more than three adjustments, then get someone more objective like a coach, counselor, or a mature friend.

-You want to use this skill with things that are non-volatile. Here are a few examples:

-I notice you call after 11 p.m.

-I notice you leave dirty dishes in the sink for more than a day.

-I notice you rarely fill the car up with gas.

-I notice you don’t answer my e-mails for at least a week.

-I notice when we are out together in a restaurant that you pick your cell phone up at least three times.

[i] Ibid


[ii] Ibid


[iii] Ibid

14 views

For any media or speaking inquiries, please contact me.

© 2018 JONATHAN FREJUSTE. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

0