The Potential State Podcast - Enriching Relationships

The Art of Fighting and Making Up

August 15, 2021 Dr. Assael and Galit Romanelli
The Potential State Podcast - Enriching Relationships
The Art of Fighting and Making Up
Chapters
The Potential State Podcast - Enriching Relationships
The Art of Fighting and Making Up
Aug 15, 2021
Dr. Assael and Galit Romanelli

Fighting is inevitable in every intimate relationship.
Most of us don't like, don't know how, or don't even know when we are fighting.
Yet arguments and conflicts are a crucial element in building an intimate, differentiated relationship.
Too bad there isn't a blueprint for a "positive" fight and make up...

Well, actually, there is!

In this talk, we share a recommended three-stage model for the positive fight and make up, which will help turn your disputes into relational diamonds.
Inspired by the wonderful book After the Fight by Dan Wile, we use our last vicious fight and make up to show how this process is manifested.
Practical tips will help you leverage your next fight to deeper intimacy.
 
Click here to join our mailing list and get free resources on enriching relationships every month to your inbox.

Check out more of our content:
Blog on Psychology Today
YouTube channel
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Podcast show link
Twitter

Support the show (https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=Q5AG6K7L8GYKA&source=url)

Show Notes Transcript

Fighting is inevitable in every intimate relationship.
Most of us don't like, don't know how, or don't even know when we are fighting.
Yet arguments and conflicts are a crucial element in building an intimate, differentiated relationship.
Too bad there isn't a blueprint for a "positive" fight and make up...

Well, actually, there is!

In this talk, we share a recommended three-stage model for the positive fight and make up, which will help turn your disputes into relational diamonds.
Inspired by the wonderful book After the Fight by Dan Wile, we use our last vicious fight and make up to show how this process is manifested.
Practical tips will help you leverage your next fight to deeper intimacy.
 
Click here to join our mailing list and get free resources on enriching relationships every month to your inbox.

Check out more of our content:
Blog on Psychology Today
YouTube channel
Facebook page
Podcast show link
Twitter

Support the show (https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=Q5AG6K7L8GYKA&source=url)

Speaker 1:

Uh, I hate fighting. I'm a turtle. I don't like fighting with you,

Speaker 2:

But fighting is important.

Speaker 1:

I know, I know it's important to here , but down here in my body, I hate fighting. I get that . I wish there was just a blueprint for how to fight. And, and today we're going to teach you how to use your fights and arguments to go deeper and grow

Speaker 2:

How to fight effectively.

Speaker 3:

You are listening to the potential state podcast with your hosts, Dr. Sal and drama Romanelli . Hi, my name is doctor several Minnelli Romanelli.

Speaker 1:

And this is that essential state today. We're going to be talking about how to fight and make up . Yes. So this is also inspired by the wonderful book after the fight by Dan wild . And basically , uh , what he talks about is people don't know how to fight people. Don't like to fight. They don't know they're fighting and they don't know how to get out of the fights and reference our

Speaker 2:

Fighting is just bad and it should be avoided at all costs.

Speaker 1:

It's something's wrong in this relationship, right? And in the previous episode of conflict is a tool for relational growth. We spoke about how conflict is necessary, but today we kind of want to zoom in on actually how to do it. The step-by-step step-by-step the play by play, and we're going to be using , um, a real fight that we had and the fight we had about this episode as kind of reference point. But first we want to remind everyone that when co when it comes to conflicts, there's two types of people. There's the turtles like me who avoid conflict at any cost.

Speaker 2:

And then there are thunderstorms to go into the eye of the storm,

Speaker 1:

Right? So as we're referencing this, this blueprint, we're going to be relating special tips to thumb for thunderstorms and tourists. And

Speaker 2:

Of course, we're all talking about kind of normative fighting. We're not talking about domestic violence or abuse of any kind, verbal, emotional , um, or keeping it clean and people can

Speaker 1:

Keep it in clean. So basically there are three stages to the fight. There's the attack attack. There's the admit , admit , and the collaborate collaborate. So first let's give the backdrop of our own fight. So it was hard for me to , um, to take time to myself, especially when the kids are awake and just to zone out and do nothing. You can reference the guilt in parenting episode, and it was the NBA finals , um , the box versus the sons . And I wanted to watch a 10 minutes summary recap on YouTube. It was Friday and we're all doing our chores. And I was about to wrap up my chores and finished my chores and told Gilead , Gilead, listen, I want to watch the 10 minute and be fine . She was like, yeah, but maybe do it after we're all done. I was like, no, I want to do it now. And then I told her again, I was about to finish my chores. I said , golly , maybe she's like, maybe do it later. Um , and then I finished my chores and I decided to take my laptop and go into the bedroom. I lie down and saw our eldest. He finished his chores and he wanted to also watch notes on never season to watch screen, certainly not enjoy screens. And I said, wow, this is a great opportunity for him, for me to be being in my son to enjoy something that I enjoy, like a quality bonding, fun time, not being efficient, not being efficient. Um, so all this is going up. This is the backdrop , and that's, what's happening to me as an opening wrapped up and I press play. Meanwhile,

Speaker 2:

Move over on this side. Um, the context for me was that Fridays are usually a super hectic day. They feel really, really short. Um, I feel like in general, I'm the one that kind of leads the charge on a clean home, an orderly home. And , um, usually that also comes with kind of arguing and making sure that everybody does their chores and what that looks like. And I am being the thunderstorm that I am usually at the heart of that . Like, I don't want to, or do I have to do it this way? Or , uh, and also I recognize that I am hypersensitive to traditional gender roles. And so sometimes it's hard for me to see like staff and a say in not doing chores well, Laila and I are doing towards just because they finished before or things like that. Like, I, I am, I will own my that I kind of have a hypersensitivity that, so that's the baggage that I come with. And here, I want to say that I think it's really important when we talk about fighting and we talk about conflict to recognize that we're not coming to the fight clean. We're not coming to the fight as like a standalone. We're all coming with baggage to the fight. And so I think part of recognizing what that baggage is, is also helpful in recognizing that the fight is just kind of a trigger is just something that kind of surfaced the baggage that we're coming with pressed on certain buttons that we have that are already existing, that actually have nothing to do or little to do with specifically you or the specific context, right? Like it's possible that under other circumstances, it wouldn't have press my button so much, but because this is kind of baggage that I come with it, like,

Speaker 1:

So we I'm watching the YouTube. Gilead has all this. And then she comes into the room and she does,

Speaker 2:

And I make my snarky comments. I'm like, oh wow, you found a really great time to do this. Oh, it's really nice that the boys are sitting while the girls are, you know, finishing, cleaning up. Or I just, I made a couple of snarky

Speaker 1:

Accounts and then I was getting, I was completely triggered by that. I did not react. I was just like, I'm watching, I'm watching. I finished the 10 minutes. I closed the laptop. I rushed him to the kitchen and we go into phase one attack, attack, attack, attack. You basically go for the jug.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. You're not using your prefrontal cortex. You're not, you're just, [inaudible]

Speaker 1:

This part , these statements is going for the jug Mueller . It's going for you. You're a mom, you, everything you've done.

Speaker 2:

And I wasn't

Speaker 1:

Listening to her . I was just yelling at that . When he says about , I was saying is fighting is actually good. It's a way to sublimate. It's a way to feel. It's a way to also bring back things you wouldn't say, you know, we don't, sometimes we have all these little things you want to talk about, but it's a bit negative. We don't have to bring it in . Sometimes in a fight. It's a way to kind of flow . It should surfaces

Speaker 2:

All the Hebrew we call it. It's just like all the, all the like, yeah , just like surfaces out and natural opportunity to just like, get it out. And here, I want to say something about , um, so mark Brackett in his book, permission to fail, and he talks about kind of emotions and feelings and how these are kind of vibrations in our body. And , um, that there are emotions that are, that are unpleasant and high energy. And anger is one of those that that's high energy and unpleasant. And I think that what we've found or what I experienced a lot is that kind of anger needs to, you have to let it out. It has to have an outlet. And so I think that part of kind of the fighting is this outlet to get it out. And , uh , you know, I'm not saying that that's okay to kind of like shout or swear shouldn't have done that, but it is an opportunity to kind of, you have to get it out of your system. You have to get it out

Speaker 1:

Of your, especially for thunderstorms. We need to do that. That's the way they actually can find energy. Yes. And anger for women as well.

Speaker 2:

Well, I think often, so I'm reading a book called dance with anger and by Harriet Lerner . And she talks a lot about women and their anger. And I think a lot of times the message we get is, you know, bottle it down, stuff it down, ignore it. Anger's bad. Anger is dangerous. Don't let it out. We shouldn't, you know, Knight , you should be a nice lady and things like that. And we don't allow ourselves these outlets to release that energy. And it literally kind of can stifle us because we just push it down and bottle it up. And that's body doesn't like that. And for

Speaker 1:

Turtles, it's really important to sometimes have that sublimation for , we talked about sublimation, which is expressing aggression socially acceptable ways . Like you need to outlet like a little bit of letting that out. It's also visceral feeling, especially if you've been a little bit emotionally. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Do you want to share what the experience was like for you as a turtle? To all of a sudden

Speaker 1:

The adrenaline was pumping. I was like, I don't want to listen. And it felt like I just felt alive. There was a lot of vitality there and that phase then while it reminds us , um, it's nice to have all these communications, but you are not going to remember this when you are flooded. Right . You can check out the episode on survival mind-state . And what he says also is don't try to talk about the fight when you're in fighting. Just fight it, just fight it and realize this is good. This is part of every relationship. This is also part of the normal marital sadism, because the opposite of love is right. So hate and love are connected. And sometimes I love you so much and you frustrate

Speaker 2:

Me there , right? With both feelings, there's tremendous passion. Where's the apathy there's

Speaker 1:

And check out the episode, passion or a yelling or passionate. But what

Speaker 2:

I also want to say that I like about Dan Weil's kind of setting is that he, he, he sets this container right with fight, fight . Like this is the place. This is the time recognize that you have set aside this time. This is the container where you can shout and spew it all out and surface stuff. And if you're the kind of person that does kind of bottle it up and like, this is like, pour it out, let it out and recognize that that's your timeframe. And it's kept , right. It's not endless, which I think is really important to recognize that, you know, it's, time-bound , it's temporary. It's not going to be like this forever. It doesn't, it doesn't mean that, you know, you're going to continue to hurt each other or say nasty things it's confined. And you can allow yourself that space. And you can almost, it's like a , an agreeable contract that we both agree that in the fight and fight, we can spew it,

Speaker 1:

Choose to see what your partner is saying. It's like a rough draft or initial draft of other things that are probably happening for them. Like, don't take everything so personal. Like this is kind of raw, it's a spewing thing, but there's also going to be truth . So you're going to be discovering rough nuggets that will be clarified later in the sponsor.

Speaker 2:

It means in the rough that Dan can really teach you about first of all, yourself, right? Like what's coming up. What have you not said? And also with your partner, like I remember in the kitchen, when you were shouting, you were saying things and I was like, who is this? Like, I've never seen this person. And part of me was like, you don't like this, but part of me is like, wow, this is really, I got really curious because it was a side of you that no, you were a full on thunderstorm and you were like, I don't want to hear you. I don't want to hear what you have to say. And you never

Speaker 1:

Done that. So great .

Speaker 2:

You can almost, if you can put on your curiosity glasses and just like observe, right. Like, hold that duality. It's fascinating.

Speaker 1:

I'm going to lead us yelling out . Like I'm uterine my mind

Speaker 2:

Anyways.

Speaker 1:

Carpet your . Okay. That's fine . Okay. So we had a huge fight, cheeses drop some F-bombs and then we kind of, kind of, and I

Speaker 2:

Think that's really important, right? For recovery, because he talks about recovery time. So I think it's really important to recognize that like when you're flooded and you're literally the little red monster and inside out then, like you're not really listening to each other so much, like you have to cool down, you have to be able to walk away. So, and you have to release that energy. So I went out for a walk and I wrote, cause that always really helps me. And that lets me kind of like collect myself and breathe again and make sense what surfaced. And

Speaker 1:

I did some pushups and drank some water and a lot of couples. That's where they finished the fight. They'll either they'll either wait two hours, two days, two weeks, and then continue as if nothing happened or they'll do a little, sorry, sorry. And never reopened it. So here's where we want to kind of move forward in the process. So this is what Dan Wolf calls a recovery conversation to try to come back into the crucible, go back and kind of dig in and see those diamonds that were, that kind of were emerging from the fight . So the next phase he calls it, admit, admit, okay, what we call it, the ownership phase, right? So we're basically slowly , this is a very liminal stage. We have to be very, very sensitive and we're slowly licking, licking our wounds. And the general idea here is each one of us is trying to, is kind of owning their own. I only talk about my side . This is crucial.

Speaker 2:

I statements are really crucial here. And , um, I'm gonna let you in on a little secret when we were, when we were revisiting this bite for this video, we kind of reenacted certain things and kind of, as we were going through these stages and essay made an I U statement, he snuck in a little used statement and we were right back. We were right back at attack attack. So, which happens . And I think he talks about that as well. Like you can, you might slide back to the attack attack, which just means that you have not been yet clear on your I statement and that just as an invitation to go back and figure out like, what, what do I need here? What's going on with me?

Speaker 1:

So , so he basically says I'm taking responsibility for my side. I'm not not saying anything about her or her responsibility. I'm also trying to see her point of view. So it's a combination of, I am sorry. I did yell. I wasn't listening to you. And then as you're doing this, and this is where we kind of, this is our version, you break eye contact and go into a stream of consciousness. And you're trying to understand what caused the missing piece. What was missing for me in this fight that prevented me from listening to you. That triggered me so much. What was my trigger point for some of us, you can do this in writing for us. For me, at least it works to talk it out. And what we suggest is I break eye contact and I'm keeping an eye language , but I'm allowing myself to kind of sink a loop . I want to kinda see what is right.

Speaker 2:

Frame it, frame it as like, I'm , I'm going, I'm going inside for a minute and I'm letting you watch, which is super intimate. But, but I'm having this conversation to try and kind of go deeper and realize, you know, what, what was missing for me? What did I need at that moment that I wasn't getting

Speaker 1:

And using the I language is just , so what was missing for me from what if we're going back to my fight , what I needed is a recognition and a celebration of those 10 minutes that were so difficult for me to take and that what was missing from that fight. And until I can hear that or didn't feel it, I wasn't open to it at all. Right. And then part of it is realizing. Yeah .

Speaker 2:

Right. And so my missing piece was to feel and recognize that I wasn't alone in chores and I wasn't alone in trying to have, you know , um , kind of gender balanced home. Right. That's what was missing for me. And I think that what's, what's beautiful about this. The admit, admit face is that you're, you're going deep inside yourself. You're saying what's missing. And that's really vulnerable. And I think that when you do that, right, we know that vulnerability creates intimacy. We know that vulnerability creates connection. And I think that when I say it was able to then say to me, I needed to take time for myself. I needed to feel like I can do that. And that that's time is respected. Then it recruited me. And I was like, I want to protect that time. I want to preserve that time. I don't want to be someone that gets in the way of that, especially because I know that it's hard for you to do so. I want to help.

Speaker 1:

So the I statements kind of, because I stay in, so I'm saying I'm owning my. She's owning our . We're creating these . We're slowly creating a pool of Goodwill. What kind of filling up our emotional love tank , because we're going to need that for the next phase. Two more things here, caveats here. One, he calls the nice guy backlash. I might be an admitted mate , but the lead might still be an attack attack. And what's, and what I need to be, we both need to realize that , that we might slip back into attack attack. Like don't be frustrated or surprised by that. You might need to take a longer time out and come back. But it's a very liminal stage. Even if she goes for the, you , I can still go back to I using play, using, owning our, regulating ourselves . So that, that is the admitted mid , um , phase . So figure out what is the missing piece for about her, a missing piece. I statements on your ship . Once you have the admitted mid phase and this, this for us two to two rounds was once in the kitchen. And then we went to the bedroom and we were kind of slowly each one of us owning our. And then once you do that enough, you get to go to the third phase, which is collaborate, collaborate, right . Which is basically going up on the balcony on the joint platform and looking at our relationship, I'm looking at that, right. Which

Speaker 2:

Is, which is kind of goes back to what I was saying about how, when I recognize that this is, this is a , I know that this is a challenge that you face bigger picture, right? Like not specifically with this 10 minutes that you needed, but like, I know that this is something that you're working on. I know that this is something that's hard for you. Then I want to be a part of that. And that's kind of where the collaboration comes in because , because I want you to have those moments and I want you to feel, you know, that you're worthy. And I want you to have those moments where you can take time for yourself and, and be less efficient. Right? So that's kind of the collaboration piece where you can, you can take that more zoomed out and recognize it's not this specific fight. There's a bigger challenge here. And how can we as partners help each other get, get those goals? You know, that each one of us as individuals is trying to meet .

Speaker 1:

And that's the face also that I could ask for certain things that I can, I can hear. I can slowly gently with a lot of play. Also kind of talk about things I would like from you. Or like that's where we can zoom out and go into more. Also you stay . And it's like,

Speaker 2:

Where you can look at the relationship as a system and recognize, you know, what am I, how am I making this harder for you? How can I make this easier for

Speaker 1:

You? That sentence that you say really triggers me. So the you statements here so completely different, right? You have a lot of Goodwill. We're solid enough. We're on the balcony. We're looking at it together. We're each owning our. And we're seeing the systemic dance. And we're trying to plan a call the plumbing, the fight , like, what are the learnings ? What are the diamonds here? What are the needs that are coming up? Wishes, needs, fantasies, dreams. And if we can kind of go through that cycle and know which stage you're in, you will be not only fighting better, but you will actually be

Speaker 2:

Making up and you'll be becoming more intimate. You'll have a better understanding of each other, right? Like you'll

Speaker 1:

At the end of the day, the ruptures and repairs, the fighting and making goal there . That's what makes the relationship. That's what makes it worthwhile to get your hands dirty. So remain playful ownership, let it land, say the thing. And don't, don't be afraid to go into the fight plummets and see the goal that comes out. This was really Romanelli.

Speaker 2:

That sound Romanelli, potential state little heart . We'll see you . Next time.

Speaker 3:

You've been listening to the potential state podcast for more information, visit us@potentialstate.com. Thanks for listening.