On Friday I explained the rules for fighting (How to negotiate an argument). One of the most important rules in the list was to do your homework. (Really, I can not stress this enough.) Figure out what you really need to resolve the problem and what the probably outcome will be. Be reasonable in your solution and keep control of your emotions.
Go over what you’re going to say in your head or on paper. Keep it concise and fair. Say it aloud in front of a mirror until it comes out smoothly and impartial (this is more difficult than you may think). Watch that your facial expressions don’t betray your words.
If can be useful to rehearse what you’re going to say with a trusted friend. This helps in a number of ways. It allows you to map out what you’re going to say and edit any potentially inflammatory words. It keeps you on topic. It builds confidence for the upcoming conversation. It also gives you a sounding board in case you’re way off base with what you’re saying. A word of caution though – you know your partner better than your friend does, do not let your friend to exert undue influence.
“All the real work is done in the rehearsal period.” ~ Donald Pleasence