Perhaps it’s just the decades of growing up on anime, but I often feel you can’t judge a person until you fight with them.

It’s not like I enjoy fighting. Fuck, I actually can’t describe how much I hate it. It’s so raw and painful, fueled by whatever force you can muster, light or dark. I think we’d all be happier with less conflict in our lives; inside, we all just want to be liked, agreed with, supported in what we’re trying to accomplish. No one, or at least very few, would seek it out. Sometimes, we even isolate ourselves just so the prospect of a fight can never rear its ugly head. And though I have disagreed with a great many of people in my life, I will often bite my tongue for the preservation of a relationship. Anything to avoid a fight. Fighting isn’t really on the top of your average to-do list… until you want to.

Actually, ”want to” isn’t really the right way to say it, though maybe not 100% inaccurate. It’s more like when you “have to” fight. When you get swept up in that unrelenting river, that truly honest moment when your principles are challenged and can no longer be compromised. Sometimes it’s a major stand for your beliefs, or maybe just the straw that broke the camel’s back, the specifics of the fight often don’t matter compared to what the need to fight back represents. It’s a feeling so primal that we can’t help it when it comes roaring through us. And for that, I kind of respect it.

Because it’s honest.

I don’t trust teams or couples that don’t fight. Obviously, there’s a difference between a couple that bickers now and then and a couple that is continually miserable around each other. It’s the difference between eating lunch and gorging yourself until you throw up. If you take something far enough to ruin your life, in that case, you need to stop. Any good team should not be constantly at each other’s throats. But fighting, the right kind of fighting, says that there is passion and pride on the line. It loudly declares your desires and what you truly care for. It’s why I’ve been very “you do you” this election; if people really feel the way they do about Trump or Clinton, I want to know. I want to be a part of the conversation. I want to know who that person is that I’m talking to about these important issues, what makes them happy and what brings their piss to a boil. What pushes them to that breaking point where they put it all on the line? Something they love? Something they hate? Something they don’t understand?

To me, a lack of fighting feels sterile, cold, and dishonest. It means you can’t be bothered to engage, or it’s not worth that effort. You’ve dosed yourself to the point where you’ve mentally peaced out of the situation. And I’d rather talk to or work with an asshole that cares about something than someone who can’t be bothered to believe in anything.

I’m not going to wax poetic about how fighting means you’re a better person or how willingness to fight indicates some moral standpoint. It’s more that when you fight, your shell comes off. The raw nerve, once exposed, yells and screams about what it wants and needs. And you see what has been hiding underneath. Revealing where you stand, and why it’s worth all the fury. Whether it’s something worthwhile, or something more selfish than that.

I guess I just like the truth, even when it hurts.

What makes you angry?