People have asked us lots of questions about living in a tiny house. However, when it comes to most frequently asked questions, this one has to be near the top, “How do you fight when there’s no place to go?”
Well, first off, there are places to go in a tiny house. It’s all about proportion. When you have only 240 square feet of essential floor space, either end of that expanse can feel like a long distance away.
Then, there is the great outdoors. Up until the last couple of days (when it got cold and damp), the great outdoors was as appealing, or more so than the indoors, at least at our tiny house. And we spent lots of time enjoying the outside together. This tiny house sits on a beautiful lake with a couple of picnic tables to choose from, a swing for two, a row boat, canoes, and lots of roads and fields to explore, together or alone if you are of a mind to do some solitary time.
However, we deal with conflict in our tiny home the same way as we do in our regular big home – big in contrast to 240 square feet. Back in our regular home, we have rooms that large. But back to the dealing with conflict: for example, we have meals at regular times. That means, I work at timing what gets cooked when, so it all comes together at the magic hours. Other people in this family of two are not so time-conscious always. And just when I call out to someone who likes to cut wood that dinner is ready, he might say “Be right there.”
That could mean when I get these next two logs cut up, or this pile of kindling carried over to the fire pit or I just have to finish downloading this whatever. Just a couple of seconds.
Now my dinner, precisely timed, could get quite chilled in some translations of “just a couple of seconds.” So now what? Do you really want to know? Remember, we have been at this for 52 years.
First off, I have to remember that he does not set out to ruin my dinner schedule. And honestly, it’s me that likes hot foods hot. He likes them spicy hot, but would probably be happy if I just got the chill off most things. So, when I realize we are redefining a couple seconds, I finish my prepping and sit down. I might even taste-test a dish or two while I am waiting.
I think the most important thing to remember in conflict resolution between people who love each other is exactly that, remember you love each other. You just have to start out there. He does not plan his work to obstruct my dinner plans. I have to always remind myself that he is probably doing what he is doing for our well-being.
And I guess I have to look at this from his perspective as well. He has things to do, plans he has made, projects to be completed, and sometimes I have been known to call him for dinner a while before it is on the table. Time he could have spent wrapping up the project that later he will have to go back to or restart.
Do we yell? Never. In fact, we have mastered the yelling without decibels. Frustrated? Angry? Impatient? Do we ever get that way? Yes, I have to admit that sometimes we do. But volume never has solved any situation. So we tend to lean toward the “Turn the volume off until we can speak with grace to each other” method. Does that sometimes take a while? Yeah, it might. But you just can’t take angry words shouted at each other back whether you are living in a tiny house or a great big one.
So to those of you who have asked me about fighting in a tiny house, and there were a bunch of you, resolving conflict is as simple or as difficult as it is in a big house. Just keep loving each other.
photo borrowed from https://www.northpennymca.org/events/resolving-conflict-peacefully-effectively/
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