Resolving conflict in relationships
Flipping an old saying on its head – we can experience the storm before the calm. When a couple express their fear and anger, it can test how much they actually mean to each other and if they want to reach a mutually beneficial conclusion.
Human beings typically want the same things – financial stability, love, happiness and good health, just to name a few. We may differ in the approach to get what we want, but we should remind ourselves of our common goals. Here are some suggestions on how to find some common ground:
- Remember that your peace of mind is yours only. Nobody can take it away from you unless you let them.
- Don’t forget that your goal is to reach harmony in your relationships.
- Before you speak, ask yourself this,”How would I take this if it was said to me?”
- Check your intentions. Are you communicating to hurt or connect?
- Would you rather be happy or right? Sometimes you may need to let go of the need to be correct.
- Try to reevaluate your opinion of people. You can be more open and loving to others if you stop trying to change them.
- Start reiterating the self-affirmation that you deserve happiness in your life.
- Try to respectfully ask them to sit down and talk things over.
Here’s a formula that you could use to express yourself:
1. When I heard/saw (action).
2. I felt scared/mad/sad (emotion).
3. I would like (action).
4. Can we work this out?
- Remember to only focus on one thing at a time to avoid confusing matters.
- If you know you can become reactive and explosive, take a few breaths to get your thoughts together. If you become emotional, write down the points you would like to cover.
- Don’t use threats like ending the relationship unless it’s got to the point where you will actually follow through.
- Apologise for the part you had to play. Remember that in most conflicts, there are at least two injured parties.
- When tensions run high, agree to take a time out while still focusing on the problem at hand.
- Try to accept that your partner is different to you – sometimes agreeing to disagree is the best option.
- Let your partner know the areas that you do agree on, you can then focus on your common desires and move on with the relationship.