What not to say in a spat with a woman
- It turns out that waving your hands widely like you are wading off a buffalo might not also help your case.
Do not say, “You are being dramatic.” Because that’s not what she will hear. She will hear; ‘You are mad. Crazy.”
The other thing you should avoid saying is “you are overreacting” even if she took a potted plant and hurled it out the window.
I recently read an article about fights in relationships, and how to make them fair. Constructive fights where people are level-headed and say what they feel without being disrespectful. It also spoke about the art of listening, and not hearing.
Which means you don’t hear only because you have to respond. It also talked about body language; no arms akimbo, or supporting your head in your hand in a show of frustration or lethargy.
Or arms crossed across your chest. It talked about the worst times to start a fight; namely in the mornings, unless it’s a public holiday or you are in a hospital bed because apparently fighting deserves time.
It also added that the best way to sort out a problem is while seated and not pacing around, because it “distracts” your partner and gives you an “aggressive” demeanour, which doesn’t help your argument. Also it turns out that waving your hands widely like you are wading off a buffalo might not also help your case.
The article continued to classify the types of fighters in relationships; they are two. There are the hurricanes and then the tortoises.
The hurricanes will come at you full force, blowing hard, in your face, sometimes they will flip things over and use cuss words. The tortoises will recede. No matter what you do to tortoises, they will not react. You can punch a hole through a wall, you can scream until you are hoarse, or go on hunger strike, but they won’t do a thing. They will just stand there and stare at you impassively. They fight by not fighting.
The beauty of the hurricanes — it said, is that they blow hard and fast but then that storm dies out quickly and they go back to their normal selves. They are the people who you will make a ruckus, cuss, then slam a door and leave. One hour later they will come back and say, “by the way, do you want us to go watch a movie?” Because they don’t hang onto things. The Tortoises are different. They can hold onto that fight passively for 10 years. These are the kind of people who can cut off your toe while you sleep because of a fight you had three years ago.
Well, suffice it to say, I find that article as helpful as a broken clock. Because often times, fights just find you, you don’t go looking for them, and when they do there is always very little time to think; OK, I will have a very fair fight this evening because it’s morning now. Also sometimes some people just have to wave their hand around like they are chasing a buffalo. And sigh — which apparently is also not allowed. They didn’t mention anything about nodding, though. Or throwing your hands up in frustrations or saying, “for Pete’s sake!” or “can we sleep on this and talk about it tomorrow when we both don’t have a litre of alcohol in our system?”
Anyway, my rule for winning fights is very simple. Avoid them. Don’t start them. But if you can’t then there are certain things you can’t say during fights with a woman because they always leave you bloodied in the nose. They only escalate issues and change the dimension of the fight. And when that happens then it’s a downhill path.
Never say, “Now you are just being hormonal. / Pms-ing”
There are many reasons why you shouldn’t say this; key being that you don’t have progesterone.
And you don’t know how that feels like, to have progesterone. And also because even if you guess is right, it doesn’t change anything, it doesn’t give you an advantage in the fight or help in solving the problem. The second thing not to say is, “you are being dramatic.” Because that’s not what she will hear. She will hear; ‘You are mad. Crazy.” She might also just hear “you are being hormonal” even though you haven’t said it or implied it. Which is mad, which is crazy when you think about it.
The other thing you should avoid saying is “you are overreacting” even if she took a potted plant and hurled it out the window. This phrase implies that you are belittling their feelings.
Also, you should not say, “sawa, then” Or “OK.” Because then you are being a tortoise and sometimes they want to get a reaction from you and saying “OK,” isn’t the reaction they have in mind. But mostly saying OK means you are ending that argument; and who are you, and what right do you have to end that argument before they are done? Nobody says this argument is over until they do.
Lastly, you can’t say, “basi sorry,” or “sawa then, I’m sorry,” or “si sorry.” In fact, if you are going to apologise, do not insert a prefix before the apology. Just say, “I’m sorry.” Not “Sorry.” Because sorry could be saying, “tree” or “banana” to their ears. You have to own it. It will also help if you looked very sorry. Which means you can think of something so saddening — something that died not too long ago. Like that potted plant.