Knowing which battles to fight and which to leave or walk away from is critical to being successful in relationships. If you fight everything life throws your away, you will be drained emotionally and physically, which in turn would affect not only your personal relationships, but also your health and work.
To conserve your energy and avoid too much stress, ask yourself the following questions before diving headfirst into a battle:
Is this your battle to fight?
Sometimes, you may be unnecessarily be dragged into someone else’s fight. It may be someone who you know has a hard time standing up for themselves. Resist the urge. If it’s someone else’s problem, let them solve it. You have many of your own issues to deal with.
What difference will winning this battle make in the long term?
If it’s a minor issue, you are better off letting it go. For example, if someone called you out in public and you felt embarrassed, would this matter to you a year or two from now? If not, forget about it and move on. Rating the importance of each problem is key to dealing with them wisely.
Does the problem affect a lot of people?
If the problem will harm family relations in the long run, it’s best to take control of the situation immediately. For example, if someone in your family is being bullied by another family member, this would sever their bond for life. In this case, the correct approach would be to interfere and diffuse the tension.
Can you solve the issue objectively?
Instead of getting involved in the drama, try and take a neutral stance so as to not get engaged in the problem emotionally. Avoid name-calling and solve the issue logically.
Conflict is a part of every relationship. Letting minor problems slide is a good strategy, but sometimes, you do have to plan steps to strive for change. When you can take control of a problem, work towards defining it instead of making it about the other person’s character.
Also, when you get the problem out into the open, don’t defend yourself by offering explanations about your behaviour. State the problem as objectively as possible. People already know your character by your past behaviours.
If you do mistakenly get involved into a typical quarrel, analyse what the other person wants. What is their motivation towards this particular fight? Is it the need for attention or sympathy? Or do they want financial support? Are they fighting just for the sake of argument or because it may make them feel powerful?
Your goal, then, should be to tell people what you require from them in a dignified manner and be the voice of reason to tackle such tense situations.