Fights. We all have them, whether it's with our significant other, a friend, or our parents. We argue, we scream, and sometimes, we throw a remote or two. But one thing remains constant with these fights: we love the person we're fighting with.
In my lifetime, I've had my fair share of fights, especially with my mother. Even at a young age, we were very alike in many ways. From preferring to walk around barefoot instead of wearing socks (even when it's terribly cold in the midst of a New Jersey winter) to getting annoyed by people who don't abide by the use of blinkers when turning, we were (still are) incredibly similar and best friends.
My mom is the person I can count on at all times. Even though I am over a thousand miles away from home, she's my first call when something goes wrong and even when something goes right. She has a relatively level head – I can't say completely level because at the end of the day, she still is Italian – and she gives the best advice for any situation.
Whenever I got into a fight with someone growing up, I would come running to her afterward to tell her everything the other person said and did. I would list all the mean remarks that were shared against me, but never what I said to the other person. I don't like admitting when I'm wrong to other people, and I especially don't always like the things I say. But the first thing she would say after I talked her ear off about how rude the other person acted was, "What did you say?"
Whenever she would ask me what I did, I would feel betrayed. How could my mother not trust me? Why does she always think I did something wrong, too? No one is on my side! The reality was that she was very much on my side, but she also wanted to make it perfectly clear that no one is flawless.
My mom taught me that in a fight, no one is perfect, but we must try to cater to the person we are fighting with.
Sounds crazy, right? Why and how do we cater to the other person in a fight when they clearly don't care about how we feel?
Well, it's about not doing the things that you know will hurt the other person. I know that with my dad, I need to let him speak and not talk over him; with my mom, I sometimes have to take a breather (because if there's anyone who can frustrate me, it's her); with my boyfriend, it's making sure I don't swear when I get too upset; with my best friend, it's really listening to her (because if there's someone second to frustrating me, it's her).
Knowing what upsets the other person is crucial to disputes. I know when I fight, it's not because I want to, it's because I'm fed up, hurt, or frustrated. I certainly never want to prolong an argument so choosing my words carefully and avoiding the actions that will hurt the other person is most important to me.
Above all, even though you may be pissed as hell at the other person, hurting them is never worth it. Dragging a fight on or making it worse is not going to accomplish anything besides ruining the preservation of the relationship and the trust of the person you love.
I say you need to sacrifice some of who you are because it's true. Although it's sacrificing the bad parts of you – the mean words, the impatience, the selfishness – you're still changing for the other person.
We're always told not to change who we are for someone else, but sometimes it truly is for the better. If you love the other person and you want to become a better, more understanding individual, you need to let a little of yourself go.
I am by no means perfect, but I certainly try for the people I love. I don't always succeed, but I'll go down trying to be the best person I can be for others around me. I know that not everyone can practice grace effortlessly, but working towards that acceptance might be the key to love.