By Chloe JonPaul

"Fighting Fair in 5 Easy Steps"In the daily course of our lives disagreements are bound to arise and oftentimes they can erupt into violent arguments where our mouths become lethal weapons, injuring or even destroying a relationship.

You can choose to be reactive or proactive. If you choose to be reactive, you will most likely be on the defensive, stocking your arsenal of remarks that will never lead to a win-win situation.

If you choose to be proactive, you can be assertive without being aggressive.

Better yet, you will maintain your dignity and serenity – two things that no one can take away from you – unless you choose to give them away.

For some people, learning to communicate effectively may be equivalent to learning a foreign language but with practice and persistence, it can be done.  Anyone who has attempted to learn a foreign language and then traveled to the country where that language is spoken can testify to the advantages being able to communicate with locals in the marketplace, restaurants, and elsewhere

Here are five tools that have been proven to be highly effective.

  1.  Eliminate the you word.  It throws up barriers and obstructs dialogue, putting the other party on the defensive.
  2.  Offer to be part of the solution instead of the problem.  Simply saying  something  like “Look, I really want to focus on a solution. I don’t want  to be a part of the problem.
  3.  Recognize “triggers” – unpleasant past events in that person’s life that prompt a reaction to something happening in the present and has nothing  to do with you personally.
  4.  Use the magic words: “Tell me what you need.”
  5.  Assume ownership of your emotions”  “When ___(describe the situation)

I feel ____  (name your emotion)

because____(give the reason for feeling that way). Add: Can we talk about this now or do you need a little more time?

This formula may sound like a foreign language at first but with time and practice it becomes a powerful proactive tool that really works!

Learn more about the author Chloe JonPaul here: