Rules of Engagement – Fight for stronger connection

How many of you have rules when you fight? Marriage Boot Camp has boiled down the top 8 rules if you want to have healthy, productive fights. The Rules of Engagement are for one goal: to give you success in managing conflict and getting rid of the bitterness that plagues your relationships.

1. Same TEAM

Know that you are fighting for your relationship, not to make a point, not to win, not to beat your mate down. Know that your mate is not your enemy.

2. One PLAY

ONE ISSUE ONLY! STAY ON TOPIC, don’t snowball! A rolling snowball picks up all the garbage in its path and gets bigger and bigger and becomes impossible to stop! Don’t bring up past arguments or other unresolved issues. This requires discipline! If you break this rule, the odds of you getting to a good solution are virtually nonexistent.

3. Stay In The Game

A famous coach once told his football players to “Play hurt” meaning that even if you get bumped and bruised, get past the pain and stay focused on the goal. If you are an avoider and you tend to run out on your team, then your relationships will suffer. Take it for the team!

4. M.V.P.

OK, maybe we stretched to get “P” out of Hope but MVP is an easy way to remember that your mate is the MOST VALUABLE PERSON to you.

Mirror – “What I heard you say…” This tool will stop the misunderstanding before it has a chance to start a fire. Stop and focus on what is being communicated. Put your own opinions, feelings and logic on hold for the moment and let your mate know that you truly hear them.

Validate – Make sure that, even if you don’t agree, that you VALUE your mate’s point of view. Let them know that you can see where they’re coming from and that you value their opinion.

Hope – Even when you’re mad as hell you can still communicate your hope for your relationship. I’m mad right now, but my hope is that we can get back to our friendship and our love.

5. Personal Foul

If you saw Vontaze Burfict’s personal foul, then you know the impact that you can have on your team. In the game of managing conflict, here’s our list of bad plays:

• Name Calling
• Cursing
• Button Pushing
• 3rd Party Testimonials (my sister thinks so too!)
• No Superlatives (never, always)
• No non-verbal’s (eye rolling, head shaking, etc.)

6. Time Out

Have you ever gotten over heated and said or done something that you wish you hadn’t? When this happens, you need to Back Off, Stop action and take a time out. One word of caution, if you are a conflict avoider, this rule can become a weapon! Agree to get back in the game as soon as possible. Take a 15-minute break, then check in to see if you can continue in a productive way.

7. SCORE – Win Win

Strive for mutually beneficial solutions. Understand that a “win” for all is better than just for one. NEGOTIATE, BARTER, COMPROMISE, SACRIFICE, be creative. You may not get 100% of what you want, but you can find happiness. So, would you rather be right or happy?

8. Spike the Ball!

Excessive celebration is highly encouraged! When you get through a tough conflict, make sure that you celebrate together! Go out for ice cream, have a happy hour, or everyone’s favorite – make up sex!