We’ve been taught throughout our life that fighting is bad. We see the atrocities of war, we know how unhealthy a relationship can be when it’s filled with petty arguments, we understand that violence is not the best way to resolve things, yet it happens anyway...
There has to be a reason why, right?
At its core, fighting is a behavior and just like all behaviors, we do it to meet a need. War satisfies the need for safety and dominance. An argument with a partner is an expression of how something about the relationship isn’t how you want it to be. Physical fighting and violence helps people to feel tough and significant.
But with that in mind, not all fighting is bad. If fighting is the path to getting one of your needs met, and it’s a need that is genuinely important to you and your highest self, then it’s entirely acceptable.
Think about how every day we’re fighting viruses, trying to maintain our health. Think about how we fight for our colleagues and customers, making sure that they get what they need and what they came for. Think about fighting for a relationship that isn’t going well, but you believe in it and you want to resolve it.
In my opinion, the line of discernment is - What’s worth fighting for?
I’m certainly not condoning war here, but I’m empathizing with it. Take the Crusades, a religious war in medieval times. In their minds, the warriors were doing what they thought was right. Ransacking towns and pillaging communities was worth fighting for because of how it fit into their worldview. And crazy to say, it was within their integrity to kill for it.
It’s important to understand that there’s motivation behind fighting, just like any behavior, and that motivation can be flawed or biased. People are imperfect. We are imperfect. So if you can step away from the fact that fighting is happening, understand the underlying need and motivation that’s causing it, and find a different way to resolve it, you’ll find that our problems often can be solved in much healthier ways.