Do you and your partner, family, or friends fight about seemingly ridiculous things? Are you and your significant other far from the perfect couple you think you should be? Would you be embarrassed if people knew the completely mundane triggers of your arguments?
Do you have a great idea or content to share, but you’re afraid to put yourself out there, where strangers and friends alike might judge you? Are you so sensitive or afraid of criticism that you play it safe and avoid vulnerability like the plague?
If you said yes to any of those questions, you’re going to love this interview.
Meet Alan Linic and Claire Meyer.
Like all of us, they’ve had fights that originated over things that are “simple, dumb, and not worth fighting about.”
Among the things they’ve fought about: snapchats; ill-fitting pants; Claire’s “hair journey” slide show; texting and not texting; Bejewled; jealousy of exes, Facebook friends, and pears; Harry Potter characters; and (more than once) baby carrots.
Since August 2013, Alan and Claire have been logging all of their fights. Publicly.
“We had a fight that we don’t even remember what it was now…and we were talking afterwards: ‘If we posted about it, no one would believe that that was a real fight that we had’…and that spurred the idea,” says Claire.
“We thought it’d be funny if we recorded some of them,” Alan explains.
So Alan created a Twitter account, @WeFoughtAbout, and the couple began diligently logging the origins of their fights.
After each fight is over, Alan and Claire come back together and work as a team to agree upon, articulate, and share the origin of the fight…in 140 characters or less. (Sometimes they can do it in as few as 10 characters, as in the case of their “Flip-flops” fight.)
Their first tweet went live on August 30th:
And then… “Everything just…spiraled out of control.”
Which is to say, @WeFoughtAbout went viral.
One moment Claire and Alan were at the aquarium looking at otters. What seemed like the next moment, they found themselves in a whirlwind of articles, radio and TV interviews, and comments from many of their 21,000+ followers.
And just behind the fans came—inevitably—the haters.
“It was weird to see people posting comments or tweeting at us…knowing that they didn’t think of us as just two people,” Alan recalls.
“The way people were talking about us, whether negative or positive, felt a little bit too personal,” Claire says.
As they navigated their sudden fame, Alan and Claire learned:
- How to communicate after a fight, and find the humor in conflict
- How fighting can actually make your relationship stronger
- How to put yourself out there and be vulnerable—and recover from a “vulnerability hit” when you’re feeling exposed
- How to deal with haters—even if, like Claire, you’re “a very, very tender creature” who takes everything personally
- How the cardinal rule of improv can help you deal with people who are attacking you or being super-mean and nasty (both Alan and Claire are trained improvisers)
Alan and Claire are hilarious and totally relatable. Because as ridiculous as it may seem to fight over “the wrong noodles” or Dominoes, we’ve allll been there.
“We’re all doing the same thing. We’re just not allowed to talk about it,” says Claire. “Let’s all just have a good laugh about it.”
Underneath the funny in this interview, there’s a lot of good advice you can apply to your own personal and professional life here. [We also make Alan’s dream of being on an inspiring quote card come true!]
Whether you want to communicate better in your relationships; get past the fear of exposing yourself and find the courage to put your voice out there online or in another public forum; or learn a trick to deal effectively with nasty people; you can get the goods right now:
You can follow Alan and Claire at @WeFoughtAbout.
(Follow The Thirtysomething Coach at @SpauldingCarrie.)
Read Claire and Alan’s article on How to Deal with Haters here.
Would you rather listen than watch?