In her piece, A Fair Fight: Healthy Conflict Creates Healthy Boundaries, life coach Martha Beck writes that she used to be a person who let not fighting ruin her relationships.
She continues on to say that conflict is necessary:
Conflict in close relationships is not only inevitable, it’s essential. Intimacy connects people who are inevitably different – as the saying goes, if two people agree about everything, one of them is superfluous. Conflict is the mechanism by which we set boundaries around these differences, so that each party feels safe with the other.
According to Beck, conflict is the way we say, “you may go this far with me and no further.”
She continues on to help her readers understand how to do conflict – the first step is conceptual: changing how we view conflict from an evil force in society to an unavoidable and potentially positive force in our relationships.
Secondly, both parties need to agree on what constitutes a “fair fight.” Is name calling out of bounds? Perhaps you’ve agreed that neither of you are allowed to leave the room, or that yelling is not something you’ll do during a fight. Whatever it is, Beck suggests setting the boundaries when a conflict isn’t brewing.
Third, Beck gives steps to creating a strategy.
Read more to find if not fighting is hurting your relationships, and how to promote healthy conflict.