How to fight fairly in a relationship

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1. Hit it head on. No passive-aggressive Facebook and Twitter updates here, people. Rather, the majority of men and women want to deal with conflict directly—62 percent and 64 percent, respectively. In a world where many turn to social media to complain instead of confronting issues in person, this is incredibly refreshing to hear.

2. But don’t say these words. Speaking of refreshing to hear, there are some phrases that definitely shouldn’t be let loose when working through a conflict with a partner. For 67 percent of men, that phrase is, “You don’t understand”; for 60 percent of women, it’s “You need to calm down.” Does this mean, “We need to talk” is fair game?

3. Establish rules. Aside from knowing which phrases will trigger a strong reaction, it’s also advised to go into an argument with an established set of ground rules—63 percent of men and 47 percent of women agree. Of course, when to set these ground rules is still up in the air (but mid-fight is likely not an ideal time).

4. Avoid sensitive topics. The trickiest of them all? Money. Forty-nine percent of women and 44 percent of men say income is the subject that brings about the most conflict within their relationships.

5. Work together towards resolution. Often the toughest part of dealing with conflict in a relationship is ending it. Men feel they are more willing than women to compromise during a disagreement; however, twice as many women are willing to admit they’re wrong.

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