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What's your fighting style? [not a meme!]
A colleague and I were talking about different fighting styles that couples, families and friends have. She, and I, are the kind to blow up, even curse, at our spouses, and then forget about it 5 minutes later. Meanwhile, the spouses, stunned by our outbursts, stop talking to us and nurse their injuries in a freeze-out that can go on for days, until we've forgotten what the fight was even about and have no idea why they're acting so cold. Then there are those, like my dear grandmother, who are determined to be painfully, sickeningly sweet and cheerful at all times, until all the grievances they've been saving up get the best of them and they blow up like the Hindenburg. And then there are the tear-ninjas, who have a secret weapon to bring out just when things are looking darkest for them. And there are the mild-mannered types who are capable of monstrous acts of sudden violence; I'm happy to say I've never known one of these in person, but I read about them a lot in the paper.

I think fighting styles run in families, either by imitation or in reaction. When I was growing up, my dad was a screamer, always having a fit about something. Some people were scared of his fits, but I got so jaded to them that they lost their power to impress me, and the biggest reaction I could muster up was, oh, Baby's having a fit again. That's why being screamed at doesn't faze me, and it's probably also where I get the tendency to be a little too vehement in fights. That may also be why my dad is super-nice to me and hasn't screamed at me in decades, although he still does it to other people. My mom can fight right back, until things get really ugly and she has to play the bursting-into-tears card, which tends to shut things down with a quickness. I have a bit of that skill, too, although it takes a lot to make me cry.

What's your style? Does it work for you? How does it play with your friends and family?

In other news, I found a stash of CDs, in one of those zippy-case things, that the Mr. and I had in heavy rotation a few years ago. I've been listening to them. Some are fantastic, like seeing old friends again: The White Stripes' eponymous debut album ("The Big Three Killed My Baby", "St. James Infirmary", "Sugar Never Tasted So Good") and the last three tracks on the Nirvana Unplugged CD. Some haven't aged so well: Queens of the Stone Age's Songs for the Deaf doesn't impress me half as much as it did back them, when it seemed gigantic, the best thing ever recorded; and Phrenology, by knowledge-rappers The Roots, is still good but nowhere near as listenable as I thought in 2003 when it lived in my car's CD changer all summer. Some of the CD's I like even better now, like the Lost in Translation soundtrack. What a difference two or three years can make.

Tags: ,
Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful
Current Music: "Where Did You Sleep Last Night", Nirvana (Unplugged)

7 comments or Leave a comment
(Deleted comment)
florafloraflora From: florafloraflora Date: July 20th, 2006 07:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
What... fighting, without the fighting??? What a concept!
emperor_fool From: emperor_fool Date: July 20th, 2006 07:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
My answer is a combination of Shadie and Buffra's. I either get testy and sarcastic (to the point of caustic) or I get very logical and explain-y (i.e., defensive). Outright yelling and such scares the bejezus out of me, but fortunately my family doesn't do much of that. We're more the freeze-out types.
zz_neena From: zz_neena Date: July 20th, 2006 07:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well. I'm a combo of the three of you (which is very fresh in my mind just now) seasoned with my pre-tear maneuver - leaving. My strongest tendency in a fight after the sarcasm and the chill is to grab my keys and go.
katcolorado From: katcolorado Date: July 20th, 2006 07:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
What an interesting question!!!

I am a very loud person and I lose my temper all too quickly. My mood changes fast and then I totally flare up. My worst fights these days are with my husband, probably because we are closest and because we are often tired at the same time. Out of nothing we can get into a huge fight. We are very abusive with each other and try to kill with words. I am afraid it gets very nasty sometimes. Andreas is more silent, but when he gets going it gets rough. He has ruined more than one remote control by throwing it at the wall. I don't know why I do it, but I do everything to make him even angrier and in the end he gives in. I want to talk things to the last detail and I can be very stubborn.

I often forget the topic of our arguments very quickly, sometimes while we are still fighting, which is rather embarrassing. I need to get all the anger out of my system and then it's gone.I am definitely not resentful

Afterwards I am sorry that I lost it that much. I would like to be a good role model for Y&A and I know that I am not when I fight like that. I try to make up with whoever the fight was with, but I have difficulties to say I am sorry outrightly.

We had loud fights at home as well. My mom often told us how much she hated us during fights. Then she'd retreat and not talk with us for days, that really really upset me. My dad argued less, but when he did, it was always dangerous. We never ever made up, we never said that it was over or that we were sorry. After a couple days it would just slowly go back to normality. That's why I try to make up after I was in an argument but I don't find it easy.

I've tried to control my temper for ever. Sometimes I am better, sometimes I think I'll never learn it. It's probably the character trait I like least about myself...


I would like to post your question and my answer in my own LJ, I hope that's ok???
yokospungeon From: yokospungeon Date: July 20th, 2006 08:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am a Hindenburg myself - the number of times I have actually exploded could be counted on my hands.

I grew up in a environment which was negatively charged with constant vicious argument and fighting, peppered with physical punishment, and this has made me completely avoidant of confrontation. Usually if something makes me angry, I will say nothing about it at all until I am at home with W/P and can express it safely.

But, there are times when I have been pushed too far and gone completely apeshit. Trouble is, when that happens, I really take no prisoners, because all my early learning taught me to fight dirty. People who trigger me like that are often totally dismayed and upset by it, as they cannot believe I am capable of it. I'm like an atomic bomb inside a fluffy kitten, LOL!
thesirannon From: thesirannon Date: July 20th, 2006 09:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
if something makes me angry, I will say nothing about it at all until I am at home with W/P and can express it safely

I'm like that, too. Even now, there are times I call J to vent about something, because I can't get angry with whoever pissed me off. He tends to do that, too, so I guess it's okay if I do it...
thesirannon From: thesirannon Date: July 20th, 2006 09:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Interesting question. I'm a combination of several, I think.
I start giving rational arguments but, as frustration grows my voice goes up. I can be really eloquent when I'm angry... but I can also shout and hurt whoever I'm talking to.
With the ex, at the end, frustration made me end in tears and oh boy, did I try to control them!
I can't stay angry for too long, though. Once I've shouted/cried, everything is well again within a short period.
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