Michael Crichton’s Fight Club

Michael Crichton has an engrossing piece up in Playboy on how to win domestic fights. He writes:

Here’s what I don’t understand. If you were going to spend your life in physical battles — bar fights, or boxing matches, or whatever — you would almost certainly get some instruction. You might hire a coach, do a little training. At the very least you would learn the fundamentals: how to punch, and so on. Such instruction would make sense to you.

But the same people who feel the need for instruction in boxing will instantly join in a verbal domestic argument without a moment’s thought about what they are doing, let alone any real training.

Yet verbal fighting, like physical fighting, is a skill. Domestic fighting can be learned. One can become very good at it — although almost nobody is, because almost nobody thinks it’s necessary to learn this skill. Many men don’t bother because they erroneously believe that women are more verbally skilled and emotionally nimble than they are. But whatever the reason, most men just jump into a domestic fight, adopting the fighting style of their fathers, or various people they’ve seen on television.

If this method has been working for you, then you don’t need this article. But if you find you are coming off badly in your fights — if you are uncomfortable fighting — if you avoid fights, or dread them — if you are afraid of seriously hurting your opponent — then you better read on. Because you need to get a little balance. Do a little roadwork. Build up your wind. Work on your mental attitude.

And above all, learn to win.

If you’re a man, I recommend you read the full piece. If you’re a woman, um, please don’t. You guys already whip us at this every time, and don’t need any instruction. Go shopping or something.

(Link via email from Peter Griffin.)