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Why do people yell?

Marriage Minute (and good life lesson for your kids):

Picture yourself at a restaurant.  The waitress says, "What can I get for you?"  You tell her what you'd like in a normal voice, normal tone.  Do you shout at her?  Raise your voice? Bang on the table?  Call her a name?  No.  Because she's heard you.  

People raise their voices in a fight because they feel the other person didn't hear them.  They feel the other person wasn't listening, and that if the other person was listening and truly understood how you feel, they'd agree with you.

But we don't always agree.  We don't always take the time to listen either because we are already working up our counter argument in our minds.

Here are some listening / fighting fair skills:

1) When someone shares with you, it may seem like they are attacking you and you should respond defensively, don't.  They've trusted you to care about their feelings and believe approaching you about it could help.  Take it as an honor.

2) That being said, rule #1 for the speaker is to be delicate in your approach.  No name calling.  No, "you always…" or "you never…."  Gentle statements like, "I know you love me and I'm really happy about most things with us, but when you do X it makes me feel Y."

3) Now the listener: Take one full breath and comment on what was said to you before you respond with a counter point.  The options for what you comment are "I hear you."  "Interesting point." "I can see how that would be hard."… Let the talker know you have received the message and are trustworthy to come up with a reasonable solution.

Relationships boil down to this bottom line:  If you LOVE the person, then it doesn't matter.  (You'll forgive.  You'll get past it.  You'll stay together.)  And the other side of that coin is, If you DON'T LOVE the person, then it STILL doesn't matter.  Learn to fight fair.  The only winner is the one who can compromise.

P.S. – IF YOU MAKE UP AFTERWARDS, then it's okay to fight in front of your kids.  It's okay to show them married people disagree and can resolve their issues.