Tuesday, April 24, 2012

choose battles wisely.

Written by Jessica

Something amazing about Kvon and I, is that in almost a year and a half of being together we have not had one argument. Not one. We have had many discussions regarding concerns either of us has had and things that bother us but to my surprise, these discussions have not led us into battle. This is incredible to me, mostly because I am extremely confrontational, can be defensive and have spent most of my previous relationships believing I was a "crazy girlfriend." If you know me, then you know that I am pretty honest with myself, I try to be introspective and I really take time to work on being a better me. Before meeting Kvon, I explored the ways in which my approach to conflict may negatively affect my relationships and decided that in my next one I would actively practice choosing my battles wisely. Fortunately, I found a cool, calm, and collected man, Kvon. From my perspective, he navigates through conflicts with ease and he miraculously knows exactly how to approach me with any topic. He has made my work easy. 

San Diego Vacation 2011

One of the best pieces of advice I have ever received in regards to relationships is "choose your battles wisely." By "choose your battles," I don't mean, "hold your tongue," nor do I mean to suggest that you should never argue. Arguing is actually totally healthy as long as a resolution is achieved; something I learned from reading Dr. Gottman's work but I will touch on that in a future post. What I mean by "choosing battles wisely," is taking time to decide whether an opinion is truly offensive to you, whether you feel strongly enough about a disagreement and deciding whether it is worth a fight. There are definitely disagreements that deserve a good argument, but when you're fighting all the time, you are not enjoying your partner. Why not actively try to cut down on unnecessary arguments?  For one thing, when you practice choosing your battles carefully you can't be perceived as a nag. Both you and your partner learn what things are really important to the both of you. Your feelings, opinions and disagreements will have more weight.

I believe the most important tools I have used in determining what is worth arguing about are: focusing on the present, examining your assumptions, and recognizing your responsibility. 

Partying hard @ The Tipsy Crow, San Diego 2011
Every time I feel I need to discuss an issue with Kvon, the first thing I do is analyze how much of this issue is my responsibility and determine any assumptions I may have made about his role in the disagreement. For example, like many other woman, I can get a little insecure from time to time. Hypothetically, before jumping down Kvon's throat because of an unidentified hussy's posts on his facebook wall, I need to go through the motions. Most likely, my assumption would be; this random beezie posted hi, how are you? on his wall... she wants him! This, of course, would be an assumption and a completely irrational one. This assumption must be rejected. It wouldn't hold up in an argument anyway, there is no evidence to suggest that she truly wants him. Not to mention, Kvon is very respectful of me and has never shown any reason for me to worry about his actions or infidelity. In focusing on the present, I would then recognize that most of what I am feeling may be because of prior experiences. These insecurities are things I need to work on, not Kvon, because he has held no responsibility in creating these feelings. This type of irrational jealousy would not be something I would approach him with. Fortunately, if there was anything Kvon could do to make the process easier or help me feel better, I know I can approach him, but I would take responsibility when presenting the issue to him.

I guess the reason I am sharing this with all of you is because this relationship is allowing me to grow in ways that I could never have imagined. Kvon makes me want to be the best I can be, for him and for me. I have such enormous respect for him that I don't want to fight with him. I have learned to only bring up issues worth discussing. In turn, when I do bring things up to Kvon he understands how important it must be to me. I appreciate the growth I am experiencing in practicing this philosophy and I hope that in reading this you all look within yourselves and think about what it is you can work on to be a better partner.  

"Success!" The Tipsy Crow, San Diego 2011

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