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Resolving Anger, The Proverbs Series: Fighting Fairly (Proverbs 17:14)

Proverbs 17:14 — “Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.”

Nowhere is this truer, I think, than in working with couples. If both people have unresolved relationships, starting a quarrel between them unleashes a torrent of hidden issues.

At times, my office has been flooded with accusations, recriminations, dire pronouncements, and tearful arguments. So many that it is difficult for the strength of the relationship to contain them all. That is why one of the skills I teach couples is how to “fight” fairly, passionately but also compassionately, truthfully but also gracefully. A knock-down-drag-out argument is simply not the most effective format for conflict resolution; instead it is a recipe for conflict conflagration.

Tomorrow: Proverbs 17:19

SOURCE: Chapter 7: “Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?” in Every Woman’s Guide to Managing Your Anger by Gregory L. Jantz, PhD., founder of The Center for Counseling and Health Resources Inc.

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