A person will take one of these four positions to avoid getting hurt in an argument. They are the four ‘F’s Fight, Flight, fake and fold – each of them offer or give a temporary satisfaction. But on the long run it will backfire. Let us now discuss each of these.
1. Fight – this is mainly a male attitude. When a man finds that the argument becomes an unsupportive and difficult one he immediately gets into a fight. He believes in the motto that the ‘best defense is a strong offense’. He wants to make his partner look wrong by blaming, criticizing, and shouting. The motive or purpose in doing this is to make his partner into loving and supporting him. When the partner backs down, he thinks that he has won the battle. But the truth is he has lost. Fear weakens the trust in relationship. Gradually, both lose the intimacy they had in the beginning.
2. Flight – To avoid fights and arguments, a man may go to their silent zone and never come back. This is like cold war. They don’t talk to each other and then they cannot find solutions to the problems. This is like walking on eggshells in a relationship. Rather than arguing, some couples will simply stop talking about their issues. In this manner they punish their partner by withholding love. They do not come out and directly hurt their partners. The short term benefit is peace and harmony. But if the issues are not discussed and feelings not been heard, then hatred will start building up. In the long run they lose the passionate love and feelings which they once enjoyed. Then they get used to overworking and overeating or watching movies as a way to overcome their feelings.
3. Fake – This is a typical attitude of a woman. To avoid being hurt in a problem the woman pretends that there is no problem. She puts a smile on her face and agrees to everything that her man says. When this happens for long periods, she gets used to giving into her husband and then she will feel that she does not get anything, and this is when the trouble actually starts. Such women become afraid to express their honest feelings. They use the words, “Alright, OK, Fine…” Men use these words for a different meaning. A woman may even fool herself and think everything is OK and all right but it really is not the case. At the end she sacrifices her wants, feelings and needs to avoid conflicts.
4. Fold – This actually comes from a woman. Rather than argue, a woman given in. They will take responsibility and blame for everything which upsets her partner. In the short run they create some situation like a very loving and supportive relationship but they end up losing themselves. Once a man said, “I love her so much. She gives me everything I want. My only worry is that she is not happy.” This man’s wife has spent 20 years in this manner. She is depressed because she has given herself in for so many years without expecting from him. She has deprived herself of love and feelings.
You would have found yourself in one of the 4 situations. People commonly move from one to another. In each of the above situation the good intention is to keep away and protect ourselves from being hurt. Unfortunately, it does not work that way.
Solution is to first identify arguments. Take a timeout to cool off and then come back and talk again. Practice communicating with your partner with increased understanding and respect and then gradually you will realize how to avoid fights and arguments. Every part of life is a skill which everyone has to learn and practice. We teach this at the Foundation Course of Heartwork Academy of Psychological Studies. (HAPS)
(To be continued, Insha Allah)