I heard an interesting stat today: in the summer 25% of couples fight about one thing, more than anything else.
Can you guess what it is?
It’s not vacations, packing, parties or pets.
It’s about mowing the lawn.
That it needs doing. Who’s gonna do it and how it gets done.
Whatever the upset, 25% of couples feel lawn-mowing is worth fighting about.
Regardless of whether this is an issue in your house, it raises an interesting question.
What exactly IS fight-worthy?
The truth is we all get upset about things. Big things and little things.
And on any given day, we might find ourselves in a fight with the person we live with.
Some people think conflict is a bad thing in a relationship, but not me.
I think arguments are actually healthy.
They clear the air.
They allow for expression.
They are honest….All good things.
Because as my clients and students have heard me say many times, conflict is not the killer of relationships.
Think of it this way: when you stop fighting, you have stopped caring. When it comes to conflict, the quality of your relationship is not whether you fight but how quickly you make up.
In other words, the turn-around is a much better measure.
Turn-around an argument quickly, and you have a very strong relationship.
If your fights last for hours, days or weeks, that is not a good sign.
Personally I’m a fan of the eight-second fight.
Or if you are really mad, eight minutes.
Any longer than that, and the fight is no longer about ‘the lawn’ or whatever sparked the conflict in the first place.
You are then fighting about much bigger things.
Here’s my coach’s challenge: The next time you are mad at someone you love, make up with them in eight seconds.
It sounds like this:
“I love you. And I don’t want to fight with you. Can we try this conversation again?”
Here’s to 8-second turn-arounds.