A dream doesn't become reality through magic. It takes sweat, determination and hard work.

Friday, 19 August 2011

What’s your fighting style?

When you disagree with your spouse, do you confront the matter head on or sweep issues under the carpet? WANGECI KANYEKI dissects how couples address conflict

No matter how sweet and loving your relationship is, at one point you will disagree with your partner.

Mwende and Victor had been married for only three weeks when their first conflict erupted.

After the honeymoon, the couple settled into their new home.

Victor was to return to work first and so on the material day, Mwende being a good wife, woke up early and prepared for him a hearty breakfast. When Victor woke up, he showered, dressed, picked his laptop and left for work.

He was completely oblivious of all the hard work Mwende had put to get his breakfast ready.

So after he left for work, Mwende feeling humiliated, sulked all day and rehearsed how she would confront his insensitivity. Whe Victor came home in the evening, Mwende had a mouthful of accusations.She gave him a piece of her mind. Victor could not cope with Mwende’s shouting match so he emotionally withdrew until she calmed down.

Mwende comes from a family where they deal with issues head on. They could argue out their points in a dramatic way, shouting at each other, after which Mwende and her siblings would continue loving each other and their relationship would be immediately restored back to status quo.

On the other hand, Victor comes from a family where they rarely deal with uncomfortable issues.

They simply sweep everything under the carpet. Their home was peaceful, no one ever shouted at the other — in fact they never talked about issues. They simply ignored the problem.

We all have a fighting or negotiation style. When faced with disagreement, some use the withdrawing style while others the accommodating style — putting their interest last and making peace at whatever cost.

Others are aggressive and feel they must win an argument. The wise individuals use the problem-solving style where they actively listen and find a solution to benefit everyone.

So what is your fighting style and what has shaped it thus?

Fighting Styles

According to Muriithi Wanjau and Caro Wanjau in the book: Ndoa: Redefining Marriage, there are different styles of fighting which are influenced by our gender, temperament and family background.

There are those who deal with problems head on — ‘fighters’ — and those who withdraw from conflict and avoid it entirely — ‘runners’. Read through this and try and identify your style.


Some people are overwhelmed by conflict and either walk from it or give in to keep the peace. These are ‘runners’ and come in various types;

Tortoise — When confronted with an issue, this person withdraws physically or emotionally into a shell.

The shell can either be work, newspaper, television, a hobby or they could go silent. They refuse to deal with the problem. The more the tension rises the more the tortoise retreats.

Owl — S/he analyses and intellectualises issues. They approach issues with academic, logical facts and look down on feelings as inferior. They are know-it-alls and assume they understand what their partner is thinking or feeling. In the middle of an argument, owls interrupt, roll their eyes and mentally rehearse what they going to say next instead of actively listening. They use their intellectual superiority to hide from issues and keep their distance.

Ostrich — They bury their heads in the sand and pretend that things are fine.They have a ‘don’t worry be happy’ attitude to life and will act or crack jokes to lighten up the mood. This can be hurtful and frustrating to the spouse.

The ostrich usually has a reputation outside the home as being popular and sympathetic and yet they use their wit and humour to hide away from their spouse.

So the spouse is the one who always seems to have issues while the ostrich is always happy-go-lucky.


On the other extreme are fighters — confrontational people who deal with issues head on.

There are several types of fighters such as:

Hedgehog — They are always defensive when an issue is raised. They deny wrongdoing and work hard to avoid any blame. To them, their partner is to blame for every mess and, therefore, do not want to be involved in finding solutions.

Skunk — This fighter retaliates and is ready to fight back when challenged.They do this by making the other person look bad. They also use sarcasm and the blame game when threatened. They check through their archives to find offenses they can use against their spouse.

If you confront a skunk about something they did, they tactfully raise a totally different issue and one is left thinking: "I came to talk to him about why he picked up the children late from school; how did we end up arguing about respecting him?"

Gorillas — They see every conflict as an opportunity to win or be right. Gorillas never quite settle until they have proven their point.

They have a temper, intimidate, manipulate and can even become violent. They will do whatever it takes to win.

Fighting fair

As it has been rightly said that opposites attract and attack.Most likely your partner’s conflict style is the exact opposite of yours.

So it helps to know what your style is for you to resolve conflict amicably. Each partner needs to learn to fight fair using some basic rules.

• Focus on the issue, not the person. Avoid using defamatory or accusatory statements. Begin sentences like this: "I feel as though we are living separate lives", rather than "You are always coming home late" or "You never come home early".

• Be truthful but gracious. Just because you want to be honest does not mean you have to do it with sarcasm or malice. Be gentle with words. Your partner is not perfect so deal with them, as you would like to be dealt with.

• Keep your tone levelled.Your partner is not deaf, they can hear you clearly even if you use a low voice. Avoid shouting and dramatic displays of pre-violence traits such as banging doors, tables and throwing things to prove a point.

•Select the right time. While we should not keep issues pending for long, it helps to select the right time to say it right.

Bringing an issue up after a long day’s work will rarely solve it. If you want a fair hearing, choose a time when your partner is rested and calm rather than when they are watching prime news.

•Sandwich your statement. We all love to be praised. It helps cushion the conflict if we begin with a praise statement, state the correction or issue and end with the good deeds your partner is doing.

If you cannot think of anything positive to say, list your partner’s good traits when you are in a more romantic mood and keep them in a diary.

•Listen actively. It is impolite to read a newspaper or watch television when your partner is raising an important issue.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Stand for a Reason

If you Stand for a Reason, Be prepared to stand like a Tree,
If you fall on the ground, Fall as a Seed. that grows back ...To fight Again.
Heavy rains remind us of challenges in life. Never ask for a lighter rain.
Just pray for a better umbrella. That is attitude.
When flood comes, fish eat ants & when flood recedes, ants eat fish. Only
time matters. Just hold on, God gives opportunity to everyone!
Life is not about finding the right person, but creating the right
relationship, it's not how we care in the beginning, but how much we care till the very
Some people always throw stones in your path. It depends on you what you
make with them, a Wall or a Bridge? Remember you are the architect of your life.
Search for a beautiful heart, but don't search for a beautiful face'.
Coz beautiful things are not always good, but good things are always
It's not important to hold all the good cards in life.
But it's important how well you play with the cards you hold.
Often when we lose all hope & think this is the end,
God smiles from above and says, `relax dear it's just a bend. Not the end.
Have Faith and have a successful life.
One of the basic differences between God and humans is, God gives, gives and
But the human gets, gets, gets and forgets.
Be thankful in life....