The UCA Counseling Center taught students how to argue effectively within relationships at an interactive “Fighting Fair” workshop during x-period Feb. 6.
Graduate psychology student Christina Christie said the workshop was about improving communication in all relationships instead of focusing only on romantic ones. Christie led the event.
Graduate student Marne Eggleston, who is earning her practicum at UCA, also spoke.
The workshop covered common “deal breakers” found within relationships that prevent communication.
“Just being aware of the fact that you do these things can help salvage relationships,” Christie said.
Other topics discussed were stress and anger relief techniques that can help prevent further conflict.
Such techniques include the use of “I” statements, counting to ten, taking a small break from an argument and controlled breathing.
Less conventional tension release methods, including fighting while lying down or even singing, were also discussed.
“It is almost impossible to fight while doing these,” Eggleston said.
Eggleston and Christie also debunked the saying “Do not go to bed angry.”
“A lot of people feel like they have to solve arguments right then,” Christie said.
However, Eggleston pointed out that allowing time to sleep on it can often lead to forgetting what an argument was about.
For people who are extremely defensive during arguments, Eggleston pointed out, “It comes down to ‘Do you want to be kind?’ or ‘Do you want to be right?’ Being able to differentiate between the two will help a lot in your relationships.”
The event also included time for discussion, in which audience members were able to ask questions about specific scenarios or problems they were encountering.
Freshman Nick Baltz said the event was informative about the basics of communication.
“It helped me realize how important it is to open channels of communication, especially when one person is stressed or angry,” Baltz said.
Christie and Eggleston discussed the importance of seeking counseling help if it is needed.
“If you are concerned about yourself or anyone else and the intensity of the emotions when arguing, counseling is great place to start,” Christie said.
Eggleston said counseling is free to students, and that there is no reason not to go.
The event was one of many new workshops the UCA Counseling Center introduced this semester.
Other programs include an anxiety workshop, which covers the stresses of social anxiety, performance anxiety and test anxiety, as well as a “How did I get so busy?” four-week program teaching students how to manage time effectively, a “Dream Interpretation” workshop and a “Look How I have Grown” workshop designed to depict how students grow through artistic expression.
Support groups meeting this semester include the gender identity support group and the survivors of sexual abuse/assault group.
For more information about any of these workshops, visit the UCA counseling website or go to the counseling center in Student Health Center 327.