(followed by a contest on how to win a copy of my novel)
How you handle fights or disagreements, as I prefer to call them, will greatly impact your relationship. Women deal with conflict in entirely different ways than men. If you want to communicate effectively with the man in your life, then you need to speak his language. Here are five tips on how to get through a fight with your relationship intact:
1. Think before you speak: Women tend to be emotional and reactionary. Men don't respond well to either of these qualities. They like calm, rational presentations. Take a moment (or a day) to get over the anger, gain some perspective, and analyze what you are upset about and why it upsets you, and then present your concern in a clear, concise manner. Never send an angry email. You can write it, but wait 24 hours and read it again, and even bounce it off a friend, before hitting send.
2. Sotto Voce: If you want to be heard, don’t yell. You will only strain your vocal chords. Men are experts at tuning out the noise, and to them, yelling is noise. A better strategy is to use your "inside voice". Imagine a baby is sleeping and you don't want to wake it when you address what upset you. Mary Poppins said it best: “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down...”
3. Living off the (Facebook) wall: Don't air your dirty laundry on Facebook or any other social media platform. While it may feel good to vent to the world, there is nothing stronger than the written word and you can't do a take back on the Internet. If you want to scream "my boyfriend is an asshole" to the world, then go on a hike in the wilderness and when your reach the top of the mountain and are completely physically spent, scream till your heart's content. You will feel better and you will still be able to make amends if you want to. If you tell all your friends what a jerk your man is being, your friends will forever see him in this unfavorable light. And, if he knows that you publicly blasted him, you may have no chance at redemption. Plus it makes you look emotionally immature and spiteful. Do you really want your family, friends, and coworkers to see your dark side. They will only be embarrassed for you.
4. Your Opinion Counts: When women have a problem, the first thing they do is call their girlfriends for advice. They call and call and talk and talk and often hear the same advice over and over. If it’s not what they want to hear, they keep consulting girlfriends hoping one will finally say what they want to hear. Ultimately, it doesn't matter what your friends say, it matters what you think. Rather than draw everyone into your drama, sit with it in silence for a while. Go for a walk. Take a yoga class. Breathe. Clear your mind and the answer will become clear. Sounds like a fortune cookie, but Confucius says: “she who has a problem, also has an answer.”
5. Elephants never forget: But you're not an elephant and you would hate to be called one, so don't act like one by bringing up issues that happened 6 months ago. If you have an issue, address it presently—ideally when it happens or at the very least on the same day. You don't scold a dog for eating your slippers three weeks after the event. He would have no idea why you were upset with him. Behavior modification with dogs works best if you reward and punish in the moment. The same is true for men! Resolve a problem quickly and clearly and put the issue to rest permanently. Leave the past in the past, unless you want to become part of the past as well—your man's past!
Okay girls, stand up and fight like a man!
I am giving away 3 copies of my novel "Blow Me". Here's how to win:
1. Comment on this blog and provide your e-mail address or a link to your Facebook profile. I need to be able to get in touch if you win. (You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam).
2. Post a link to my blog on your Facebook wall saying “I want to win a copy of “Blow Me” by chicklit author LennieRossWrites” and make sure I am tagged in the comment. (You have to like my Fanpage in order to tag me on your wall) OR tweet “I want to win a copy of “Blow Me” by chicklit author @lennierosswrite”
3. Like or Tweet this blog post using the button(s) below and tell me in your blog comment whether you "tweeted" or "liked" it.
All names will be entered into a hat (or likely a baseball cap, since I don't own a proper hat) and the winners will be drawn at random. Contest closes midnight, August 2nd. Winner will be announced on my Facebook fanpage on Friday, August 5th.
Note: US residents have the option of receiving an autographed paperback copy. International residents will be sent an e-book version or have the option to pay shipping and receiving an autographed paperback.