Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Arguments And Fights

I tend to be pragmatic in mostly all of what I do. It is the way I am. It is also for this reason that I distinguish between an argument and a fight in more or less benign context, say, between partners in a given situation.

An argument can be rational or not. That depends on whether both persons adhere to rationality to resolve issues. Argument relies on logic to support one’s position. The attempt by both parties is to convince the other of supporting facts. When one or both parties use emotional support, the argument fails. It becomes something else.

My current pontification was incited by Great Kate. She presented a way to diffuse what could have turned into a fight, and she did a great job. I am sure that she was being rhetorical when she asked, “Does every fight have to be settled by exchanging punches?”

A fight is the other way of handling things. As a given requirement, it is irrational. A fight occurs when an argument was not tried, or was tried and it failed. Some people don’t have the skill or incentive to argue, so they are always in the fight mode. When something annoys them, they fight.

I have heard that “Violence is the last resort of the incompetent.” I have never thrown a first punch. However, when I was the recipient of such, I tried to retaliate in kind depending on the situation. For example, I would not punch back to a person whom I loved and or respected. Also, I would not punch back when I was passed out on the floor. Given that, I can honestly say that I have never had a fight with my wife. I had to duck a few times, and had put up with some verbal abuse, but never retaliated in kind.

In our early years I tried to argue with her. It did not work. She is not the pragmatic logical person who I am, and there is no way to convince her of right or wrong when she perceives a hurt. So, what I always do, is let her vent her fury, and then she will calm.

Of course, that approach had gotten me into trouble simply because of my lack of expected response. I can lose a fight even when I refuse to respond. But that is better than responding in kind, for that would escalate the stakes and the required responses. As the years went by, she has figured out that it is not only difficult, but damn near impossible to get me into a fight with her. I would rather suffer whatever she decides to throw at me (figuratively speaking) than to fight her. When logic fails, irrationality also fails. We come back to the problem later and solve it rationally. We both learn from it.

All of this is not really within the spirit and practice of our Female Led Relationship. It is part of our basic relationship that supports FLR. We are not perfect. She flies off the handle once in a while, and I feel hurt. But neither will cause long lasting harm, and neither of us is trying to prove anything. It is just the way we are.

1 comment:

Lady Julia said...

I can lose a fight even when I refuse to respond.I had to laugh at this statement because I can remember a time when this was true for my partner. I'm glad there are so many wonderful things about women - it still makes the balance between wonderful and frustrating tip heavily in our favor (for most anyway ;)