Fair Fighting Rules

  1. Look at why you are arguing: Are you determined to win? Is your objective to vent anger? Are you attempting to embarrass the other person? Or are you honestly attempting to communicate and/or resolve thoughts and feelings?
  2. Deal with the here and now. Don’t refer to past mistakes and incidents. People generally drag in the past when they feel they are losing the argument and want an extra edge. Bringing in past grievances only attacks the other person, causes ill feeling, and breaks down communication.
  3. Don’t get into blaming! Deal with your feelings and take responsibility for them, rather than blaming them on others. Try to use “I” statements rather than accusing “You” statements (i.e.: “I feel hurt” instead of “You hurt me.”) Blaming causes the other person to become defensive.
  4. Admit when you are wrong. Pride can create a major impasse in communicating.
  5. Don’t make comparisons to other people, stereotypes or situations. Deal with that individual and each situation. EACH IS UNIQUE!
  6. Don’t play games. A game is being played when you are not being straight about your feelings, and when you are not being direct and honest about what you want or need in a situation. Examples of games are; poor me; silent treatment; martyr; wooden leg; don’t touch me; uproar; kick me; if it weren’t for you…; yes, but…; see what you made me do; and if you loved me.
  7. Don’t involve other people’s opinions of the situation (e.g.: “John’s mother agrees with me.”) The only opinions which are relevant are those of the two attempting to communicate at the time.
  8. Listen and hear! Try to deal with the other person’s perceptions of the situation as well as your own. Be aware of his/her feelings as well as your own. Check to see whether what you heard is really what the other person is trying to express, and ask them to let you know what they hear you saying by summarizing what they thing you mean.
  9. Don’t make threats (e.g., “Do this or else!”). Threats back people into a corner and they may choose the ultimatum in order to save face. You may find later you really do not want to carry out your threat.
  10. Don’t demand to win. If you do, your discussion will surely become an argument.
  11. Give the other person equal time. Both people need to express their feelings and points of view to create a full mutual understanding.
  12. Attack the issue, not the person. Name-calling puts people in a position to respond angrily and defensively. This is usually used when a person feels he is losing. Name-calling breaks down communication and destroys trust in the relationship.
  13. Don’t say “always” and “never”. (“You always…” “You never…”) these are usually exaggerations and will put the other person on the defensive.
  14. Take a breather by paraphrasing what you think you heard them saying when you feel too stressed. “I understand you want to tell me about your day but I need a few minutes to finish what I a doing.” This gives you time to think about your response.
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My Office Location

12600 E US 40 Highway, Suite 101

Independence, MO 64055

My office is conveniently  located on 40 Highway near Crysler.

Near by cities include Blue Springs, Oak Grove, Raytown and Lee’s Summit.

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