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How to tell when someone just wants to fight:
- Rather than talk about the issue, they talk about you.
- Rather than actively move towards a peaceful resolution, they turn you into the opposition.
- Rather than it be “us vs. the problem”, it becomes “me vs. you.”
- Rather than take what you say at face value, they choose to twist or misinterpret what you say to meet their own needs.
- They will accuse you of being defensive when you are simply stating facts or your opinion.
- They will tell you what you think, put words in your mouth, or provide their own justification for your actions.
- They will tell you what good things they used to think about you before telling you they don’t feel that way anymore.
- They will tell you how much you disappoint them.
- They will try to bully you into apologizing and saying you’re sorry.
- They will recruit others to do all of the above.
- And as you communicate, things get progressively worse, despite your efforts at working towards peace.
If someone uses the above techniques in a “conversation”, that’s not called being open minded or “working things out”. That’s called trying to “win” through submission.
And the fact is, no matter what the outcome is, there are no winners.