For good relationships, it is important to know what battles are worth fighting for. Some people love to start fights a.k.a. “winding you up”. But engaging in every fight only succeeds leaving you feel beat up and not much to show for it. So how do you know it’s “worth it”? Most of our daily squabbles are simply distractions and not really worth our attention but our ego sometimes can’t let it go.
Here are some things that have helped me navigate some stormy seas:
- Not Every Battle is worth fighting: There will always be critics, people who disagree, and people who will never understand you. As the saying goes, “To the victor go the spoils of war”. Ask yourself “Does the prize for winning this fight outweighs the cost?”
- Your Time/Energy are limited, use it wisely: If you engage in EVERY battle, you will not have enough resources to fight the battles that really matter. Reserve your resources! Even if you want to engage in a battle but your resources are low, you may need to rethink your battle for another time. That is not defeat, that is strategy.
- Why We Engage: Sometimes we start arguments because of our pride or our ego is way too easily bruised. Someone who is confident in themselves or their position wouldn’t see the need to fight or prove their point. If however the argument truly affects your way of life, your health, your morals, your loved ones, your property, etc these may be good reasons to stand up for what you believe in or protect what you have.
- Silence Is Not Submission: Unless they say the words “You’re right!”, silence doesn’t mean they submit to your argument or admit defeat. They could have simply given up trying to argue with you because they know you are not listening and/or the conversation is not progressive or constructive. They could have just written you off.
- Evidence May Not Matter: Even if you had all the evidence in the world that you are “right”, this is no guarantee the other person will submit. People see/hear what they want and only when they are willing to accept it does it get through – not because you forced it through.
- Timing Can Be Everything: Just because you are ready to start an argument, doesn’t mean the other person is ready to receive and that does not mean you are guaranteed victory either. Knowing when to start an argument can be crucial to the outcome. Waiting for a person to be receptive to a conversation may help greatly in a peaceful resolution.
It’s important to recognize which battles worth fighting for and those that can be won. With the exception of a small number, most people do not like to fight.