Picking Your Battles/Martin Rosenfeld, JD

Posted on March 12, 2017


It takes two (or more) to get into a dispute. It is easy to lay the blame for the disagreement on the doorstep of the other party. Jacqueline Whitmore, an etiquette expert, cites 15 ways in which one can pick their battles wisely. Three of these suggestions, that center about the issue or personal accountability, follow:

*Look in the mirror.

What is your role in the origin of the dispute? What responsibility do you beat relative to finding a solution for the problem? Since you have no control over how the opposing party will react, question your own role in the reason the matter at hand has not been resolved.

*Seek help when necessary.

Mediators, counselors, therapists, financial advisors, etc are examples of people who may be able to short-circuit a dispute. Learn to admit that you can’t do it all on your own and seek the proper professional guidance and help to help reach a resolution to the dispute.

*Only fight about issues that are important.

Will the issue in dispute make a difference in a week, month or year? If the answer is “Maybe not” than make finding a solution a goal of your energies and discussions. Not every issue is an important one. Sometimes it is simply wise to cede a point to the opposing party. Fight when it is required; be flexible when it is a possibility. Life is too short. Sometimes the subject of your dispute will not be worth a fight. Save your battles for what is truly important. If something is not truly a need of yours, spare yourself, and the other parties, from unnecessary battle. Pick you fights wisely.