Each boxer wants to win! That’s the point right? Why else would they get in the ring anyway?
The bell goes off and the boxers move towards the center of the ring circling each other. The first punch is thrown, then the second, and on and on until one boxer is down on the ground unable to get up and likely bloodied and injured.
Am I really describing boxing? Well, yes, but no – I’m describing how couples often fight.
Are you a boxer in your relationship? Is winning and being right the goal at all costs?
Here’s how you know:
- You defend your position (your argument) even if your partner has made good points
- You ignore the Wise Voice inside you that says perhaps your partner is right, has a good point, or whatever, that would impede your winning
- You punch hard, below the belt, and play dirty. You want to hurt your partner.
- You stay in the fight long after it is over – silent treatment, passive aggressive jabs, mean looks
- You never ever say that you might be wrong or admit your partner might be right
- You jump in the ring and get defensive or offensive at the smallest of provocations
We live in a competitive world and likely you were trained that winning is often the ultimate goal. This may be true in sports, elections, and a number of other life situations.
But relationships are collaborative, not competitive.
At the beginning of our relationship my husband and I created the ‘I’m right’ song. When one of us is in truth ‘right’ about something, the other gives permission to sing the ‘I’m right’ song. The song gets sung (I’m right, I’m right, I’m right – to some type of tune), we laugh because it shows us how silly the right/wrong conflict is, and then we move on.
It is notable that we do not have a ‘You’re Wrong’ song.
How can you highlight the fact that the win/lose, right/wrong conflict in your relationship is not working and in fact working against you?
What would it take for you to say to your partner, ‘you’re right’?
What would you need in order to step out of the ring and ask your partner to join you in solving the problem rather than injuring each other?
This is tough stuff I know, but doable, and win/win and teamwork certainly makes life more pleasant. That’s why you partnered anyway, isn’t it?
Next post: If you want to give up being a boxer, who do you become instead?
Image credit : Ambro at freedigitalphotos.net