Hissy Fit - October 2022 - Fight Like A Girl: Win Like A Woman
...because everyone needs one every once in awhile
October 2022 Issue
by Elizabeth Skenes Millen
By now, unless you read a magazine from back to front like me, you know this month’s theme is #FightLikeAGirl. Throughout almost every page, we have honored those who have fought like a girl to overcome obstacles and illnesses. We have also encouraged you to fight like a girl when necessary. However, I’m going to put the brakes on it as we come to the end of this month’s issue. Of course, I’m not going to undo what we have already done, but I’m going to point out a few things us women do sometimes when we #FightLikeAGirl that is not in our best interest and need to come to a stop.
Relationships are hard whether they be with a spouse or significant other, a friend or a family member. Disagreements are bound to happen over time, and it’s fine to butt heads occasionally. What causes disagreements? Usually having differing opinions about a situation or set of circumstances, or being disregarded. You may not agree, but the problem really isn’t the problem; the way the two parties handle the problem is the problem. And, women can be the worst when it comes to resolving a disagreement and finding peace.
First and foremost, when asked “What’s wrong?”, the first thing out of a women’s mouth is “Nothing.” Why do we say nothing when it is clearly something? This tactic has never once helped to solve a problem. All it does is escalate and prolong the inevitable—a fight is on its way. I am guilty of the “nothing” tactic, and after thinking it through, I know why we women do it. We feel frustrated, unheard, and have lost patience. It’s like “If you don’t know, then I’m not telling you!”
However this “nothing” leads to prolonged misery. If we would just state the “something”, how we feel about it, and ask whoever we almost “nothing-ed,” to consider our feelings, the problem would more than likely be solved and everyone could happily move on. Bottom line: Put on your big girl panties and state your “nothing” in detail.
If you decide to keep on nothing-ing, it will lead to the next ineffective way to #FightLikeAGirl—the silent treatment. Once “nothing” has come out of your mouth, it is usually followed by silence, which can vary in length depending on the depth of anger created in the “If you don’t know, then I’m not telling you” phase. Some people go years without speaking, albeit they probably don’t live together. Women are not good at longterm silence, especially with people they live with (a.k.a S.O.) because eventually dirty laundry has to be picked up off the floor, or a jar needs opening. Again, the silent treatment only prolongs the misery. I understand that sometimes you can be so mad and so hurt that it feels like you have nothing to say. Sometimes it feels like if you speak, you may break down and sob, or just scream. Speaking can make you feel vulnerable, but the quicker you solve the problem, the less hurt feelings you will have. Try to avoid putting a damper on your precious hours or days by talking it out immediately before it escalates into long-term ugliness and pain.
Along with the silent treatment comes sleeping elsewhere, eliminating any chance for one of you to have a tender moment to make up. Again this #FightLikeAGirl tactic is yet another outer way to solve an inner problem. It’s just not going to work. Distance may make the heart grow fonder, but not when the core of it is seething with anger. Anger is a wicked emotion that seeps into every crevice of your body and clings to you everywhere you go. Whether you are in the same bed, or he’s on the couch, anger is front and center…and it's the only one winning. It is in your best interest to heed the wise old advice to never go to bed mad. You will experience extreme relief and sleep better if you don’t allow an argument to extend overnight. Even in anger, give your loved one a hug for at least 30 seconds. By the end of the hug, you will feel better. All any of us want is to feel loved, heard, wanted and respected.
Lastly, and most importantly, try not to share your short-term anger with others. If you’re mad at your husband, don’t call your mother and bend her ear about what a SOB he is. This is a bad idea. A few minutes or hours later, when you’ve made up, you two will be cooking steaks and having a glass of wine, while your mother is still steaming about your husband’s bad behavior; plus she only heard one side—yours—of the story. This is a sure-fire way to reduce your husband permanently in the eyes of your mother, friend or family member who you normally vent to. Give your anger some time before running your mouth to make yourself feel better. If you must, go for a drive—alone—and vent to yourself. If the tiff becomes more than a tiff, then by all means seek outside support, but make sure you’re ready for your husband (or whoever you’re venting about) to be viewed lesser…forever.
So there it is. A roadmap of when #FightLikeAGirl is the most ineffective way to actually fight. Women, for the most part, are naturals when it comes to taking care of others, making sure people are happy, being loving and attentive—mending and attending. It’s the way we are made. Fighting is not a natural trait of women, and maybe that’s why most of us aren’t very good at it. You don’t have to fight fire with fire. That only makes the fire bigger. We need to pull out our true #FightLikeAGirl skills and douse that fire when it’s only a little flame. That is a woman’s superpower. Next time you’re in a disagreement, put on your cape, kick anger to the curb, solve the problem and smile. That’s not fighting like a girl, but winning like a woman.