Fighting like an Adult

Every once in a while, I forget how to fight like an adult.  My feelings get hurt and automatically, the gauntlet gets thrown.  Whoever I’m arguing with doesn’t stand a chance.  They just have to stand there in their wrongness and be wrong, because I’m right and even if I’m wrong, I’m still right.  Insane?  You betcha.  Trust me, my lack of rationality bothers me more than it bothers you.  How?  Because I can’t shut it off.

When I’m upset, I get verbal diarrhea.  I feel the deep burning desire to over explain the situation so no doubt can be left about my intentions, feelings or perspective.  I want to make sure I’m heard and understood.  It is often too late that I slow down and listen to the other person.  By then my assumptions have been made, opinion formed and stance declared.  Often, too late, I realize I was wrong or out of line.

I love to be right.  Who doesn’t?  I’m a fairly intelligent person who annoyingly loves to assert her knowledge on others.  Unfortunately, life is a constant string of events where one is either right or wrong.  One cannot always be right, just as one cannot always be wrong.  However, one can be a stubborn pain the ass 100% of the time.  That would be me.

Only recently have I started to swallow my pride and say the treasured words, “I’m sorry. I was wrong.”  Whether the other party accepts (or acknowledges) my apology or not is another topic but in apologizing, I have won the battle against my ego.  That, my friends, is huge.

While my style of fighting has evolved quite a bit in the past ten years or so, I still have a ways to go.  I no longer yell or slam doors.  I’m cutting back on the sarcasm (a true struggle) and I try really, really hard not to name call.  Sometimes I slip up and that’s okay.  But I need to focus on being more sensitive to the situation at hand.  At the risk of sounding cliche, I don’t need to show up to every fight I’m invited to, even if I am right.  I also need to provide every situation the fair chance to not be a fight to begin with by avoiding assumptions.

I should have learned this by now and unfortunately, a recent event has reminded me that I haven’t.  I’m still growing up into the adult I want to be and that doesn’t include hurting my friends and family.  One step at a time, I’ll get there.  I promise.

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