Quarreling in a right way is an indispensable condition of the existence of any couple. During the quarrel we speak openly about the irritation and discontent towards the partner. As the reason of such «charged» communication between the people loving each other isn’t always realized, even after time, we continue to quarrel again and again.
In the childhood, while watching my parents, I couldn’t understand why such a little significant offense as not taken out rubbish bin, can cause a mom’s powerful flurry of indignation, shouting, fury and with the obligatory ending like: «Your attitude will drive me to the grave soon»? To me, as a child, it was absolutely unclear why adults can’t just stop arguing and reach an agreement?
When I grew up and got married, the situation repeated itself with my participation. And every time I went into hysterics because of some nonsense: my husband was late for an hour from work, has bought a wrong Christmas tree or has left marks on a carpet. I shouted long and loud about being tired of roach at all, that he has no conscience, that he constantly wipes his feet on me, etc. and etc. I was very hurt and offended. Having cried, I remembered the same situation from my childhood and said to myself: «Something’s not right, Dear. You have shouted just like your mom and reacted very inadequately. You should do something with it». Stephen Karpman in his article «Fairy Tales and Script Drama Analysis».. gives an answer to the question why we can’t build relationships without quarrels. It tells about so-called «Destiny triangle». It is an unconscious game that we play, building relationships with people.
Schematically, the Karpman Triangle looks like an equilateral triangle, whose vertices have names: 1 — Rescuer. 2 — Victim. 3 — Persecutor. It is assumed that at interaction two persons pass all stages and change their roles in turn.
In life the similar scheme looks much more simply and clear. For example, you meet someone, you like him and you are going to live together. After some time you find yourself thinking that he is tired at work, so you decide to help him with cleaning the apartment and cooking dinner. And through some time suddenly you decide that he needs absolutely new shoes or a suit for negotiations. You buy it, you are run out of money and you refuse to buy a smartphone… then refuse of fitness and manicure, then you have kids and you refuse to communicate with friends, you don’t go anymore to the hen parties with discos…And then you realize that he doesn’t kiss you in the morning, leaves dirty marks on the carpet and doesn’t take out a garbage can… Suddenly and unexpectedly for yourself you shout loudly how you are tired of roach at all, that he has completely lost his conscience and wipes feet on you etc., etc. You are very hurt and offended. After some time you put up with each other. And then it starts all over again.
What had happened? From the moment when, without asking the opinion of your partner or simply loved one, we start to «save» him, a game called «Karpman Triangle» begins.
Firstly, the «Rescuer» voluntarily offers his help (which may be not needed at all). Then, getting addicted to such behavior, the person becomes a «Victim» and denies the pleasure for himself. Finally, when patience comes to an end, wakes up the «Persecutor», which sweeps away everything in its path, without feeling action and pity.
I want to note that this process is almost uncontrollable. We understand what happens when it becomes unbearable. And even with this understanding it is very hard to stop the game, because husband, children, parents and friends are already involved.
For those who want to leave an ill-fated triangle, but for some reason can’t do it, I offer several rules of a safe quarrel.
Use «I – statements».
To avoid verbal ping-pong, when the quarrel has unexpectedly overtaken you, speak about your feelings and avoid direct insults. For example, instead of saying «you’re such a fool», just say «it hurts me» or «I’m angry».
Do not use offensive characteristics.
In continuation of point №1,I want to mention that direct insults, said in the heat of anger during the quarrel leave the deepest scars.
Criticize action, but not the person.
If you speak about specific action, the partner will have a chance to fix a situation. Speak about your own vision of an exit from an unpleasant situation. In other words, tell how you wanted him to act and why.
Give your partner a chance to explain the situation and to suggest a way out of it.
Here the most important thing for you is to try to look at yourself through the eyes of a partner. Is he really so guilty as much as you are angry with him?
Concentrate on the current situation.
During the quarrel, you shouldn’t refer to far-fetched events of last year’s prescription. This will make the conversation even more confusing and won’t bring any benefit. You should remember that it is necessary to know only the true reason of tension in relations, if you want to quarrel correctly. And this reason usually lies in the instigator of the scandal, or, more precisely, in instigator’s delusions.
Author: Oksana Duben
Translator Darina Mishina
Original text Ссорьтесь правильно!