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Fighting for control

From a recent study it appears fights are about wanting control, not about wanting apologies. The sensitive issue is who is in control, who has the power on decisions. If  certain decision is made that reduces the other’s status then there is a feeling of violation and a need to reassert oneself. A criticism can lead to an argument at the end of which neither side know what they were arguing about. But  emotional wound there is a statement  of something wrong being designated by one partner on the other is seen as a threat. Afterwards ask either side what they were arguing about and frequently they have forgotten.

264 fighting for control






Underneath ‘control’ was the need for some investment by the other, a need to stop adversarial behavior, to communicate more, to show affection and at the bottom was the need for an apology. Generally fights are spontaneous because of the perceived threat. Often it is angry partners fault or problem to being so overly sensitive to the other’s comments. How easy is it to identify one’s needs “I don’t feel comfortable with you making that decision” would be a departure from the norm which might lead to some enquiry from the other side leading to some compromise. The fights go into a win/lose space so always one if not both sides end up getting hurt.

The basics in anger management are to be able to ask “Why am I so upset?” In so doing it would save a lot of grief.

Source: Toronto Star


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