The comedian Dane Cook does a comedy routine about a couple arguing over ketchup, which he calls the nothing fight. You can find it here (warning- strong language). I bring this up because I hear nothing fights among my colleagues almost every day. I also hear couples (like Dane Cook alludes to) fighting over nothing as well.
In a previous relationship, I was often drawn into nothing fights. After hours of screaming, hurtful words, it would occur to me that I was arguing over essentially, nothing. I learned (the hard way) to take a breath and to divert or avoid a potential argument by asking myself one simple question; “do I need to be right about nothing?”. Really, it was a simple as that. Whether it was which movie to watch, whether to stop for ice cream, or what to watch on TV. Those potential hot topics (and they were) are nothing in the grand scheme of things.
So before you get drawn into a nothing fight – consider how important it is to be right about…nothing. Whenever those moments arise, at work or home I consider what I will gain (nothing) by engaging – then don’t. I’m certainly happier after I was able to determine what was nothing, and what was worth a robust animated discussion.