The Smalley “Fighting Rules” …

• Clarify what the actual conflict is
• Stick to the issue at hand
• Maintain as much tender physical contact as possible
• Avoid sarcasm
• Avoid “you” statements
• Don’t use “hysterical” statements or exaggerations
• Resolve any hurt feelings before continuing the conflict discussion
• Don’t resort to name calling
• Avoid power statements and actions
• Don’t use the silent treatment
• Keep your arguments as private as possible
• Use the “drive-through” method of communication
• Resolve your conflicts with win-win solutions
• Strive to reflect honor in all your words and actions

Excerpted from “Making Love Last Forever” by Gary Smalley.