A lovers’ quarrel can escalate into a full-out dispute where both parties are deeply emotionally invested. That lovers’ spark can quickly grow into a raging inferno. Sometimes in these situations, all reason goes out the window. Clinical psychologist Dr. Janet Hall, author of Fight-Free Families, explains how fair fighting can be used to air differences and find compromises both people can live with.
The top four reasons why a lovers’ quarrel escalates into a heated dispute:
- Attention - It may not be rational, but some lovers crave attention so much that receiving negative attention is better than nothing at all. If you are with someone who uses your disputes as an opportunity to gain your attention, try giving them some positive attention instead.
- Past Issues - A lover who is hurt by something you said or did, may want you to hurt you in return. They will bring up past issues and dwell on personal flaws that have little if anything to do with the issue at hand. In this situation it is helpful to keep the focus on the current matter rather than following your lover’s lead. Dr. Hall suggests ‘planning a time to air your other gripes’, which should help to relieve some tension.
- Competition - Some lovers view each dispute as a test of wills. Winning the argument at any cost becomes the primary objective. Dr. Hall suggests that you ask yourself, ‘Do I want to win or do I want to be happy?’
- Ego - People want their lovers to respect them and hold them in high regard. The way you dispute and the words you use can tarnish your message. Dr. Hall suggests ‘reminding yourself that you are talking to your lover, not some stranger. Don’t use words as weapons: Learn which words upset your partner and avoid using them. Consider your tone of voice as this can affect us more than words. Consider how you would react if you were on the receiving end.’
Even the best of lovers will end up having the occasional spat, but the important thing is to acknowledge how much you care about each other and to keep the dispute in check.
By Lance Soskin, Founder and President of eQuibbly.
eQuibbly is a web application created to help companies resolve their disputes quickly and fairly online. It’s known formally as Online Dispute Resolution (ODR). Disputes are resolved entirely online either via mediation or arbitration in a secure private virtual room. Parties can opt for the outcome to be legally-binding and enforceable in court in almost any country.
If you have already experienced the great pleasure of going to court, especially for a full-blown trial, there’s no reason to read any further as you’re already well-aware that almost any other method of resolving a dispute or conflict is better than the traditional justice system.
Once you hire an attorney, it’s extremely difficult to get away with paying anything less than a few thousand dollars for pre-trial procedures, even if it is for small claims court. And if your case goes to trial, you’re almost certainly going to be out-of-pocket at least $10,000 and often times tens of thousands of dollars. If that isn’t reason enough to convince you to try an alternate route, the time commitment and aggravation involved in pursing litigation surely are.
One alternate route that is growing in popularity is online dispute resolution using arbitration or mediation.
If you meet one or more of the criteria below, it may be time for you to take a closer look at whether online arbitration or mediation may be right for you:
- Negotiation has failed. You have tried to resolve your dispute or complaint on the phone, by email, or face-to-face and were unable to reach a satisfactory solution.
- Meeting in-person is inconvenient. You and the opposing Party live far enough away from one another that there is no convenient place to meet without wasting a lot of time traveling.
- Cost of litigation may exceed your claim. Unless you are independently wealthy, there is little point suing if the cost of litigating might be more than the amount you recover at the end of the ordeal. Many plaintiffs over-estimate their chances of winning and the amount they will recover if they do win. If you’re looking for some sense of moral victory regardless of the cost, keep in mind the old saying about ‘cutting off your nose to spite your face’; it will likely ring true a year later when you’re still trying to make your way through the justice system on your last dime.
- Confidentiality is important. You would like to keep your disputes and your confidential information private. The courts in the U.S. and Canada are open to the public and almost everything you file with the court is public record and subject to public disclosure (other than personal information that can lead to identity fraud).
- You have shopped or socialized online. The online world is part of your everyday life. If you’re comfortable shopping, socializing, and commenting on news articles online, you’re technologically savvy enough to make use of online dispute resolution.
The B.C. government is getting into the online dispute resolution business. It unveiled plans to take small civil claims and condominium disputes out of the courts and put them online.
“Both individuals and business owners will find this a convenient and affordable way of reaching agreements,” B.C. Attorney General Shirley Bond said in a statement. “Few people want to go to court to solve a legal dispute, which can be costly, intimidating and time consuming. A tribunal offers an innovative alternative to settling a dispute in a faster, more amicable way.” The government is hoping to launch the ODR infrastructure in 2013 or 2014 as a way to cut legal fees and travel costs for parties as well as to reduce the backlog of cases in the courts.
With the Civil Resolution Tribunal Act, the B.C. Ministry of Justice is predicting a 60-day dispute resolution process, compared with the 12 to 18 months it can currently take for cases to wind their way through the province’s Small Claims Court. The tribunal will be available for disputes worth up to $25,000 where both parties agree to participate. However, it will be mandatory in certain types of property disputes involving condominiums.
The Act mandates that disputing parties are to represent themselves in the tribunal proceeding, however provision is made for legal representation in certain circumstances.
The tribunal will progress in four stages, with participants moving to the next stage only if they are unable to reach an agreement:
- Self-Help Dispute Resolution using online, interactive tools with information, tips and templates to help the parties reach a settlement;
- Supervised Negotiations Online;
- Direct Intervention by a Case Manager to Facilitate Settlement; and
- Online Tribunal Hearing where a final decision is made – the order can be filed with the court giving it the same force and effect as if it were a judgment of that court.