Though unpleasant, we all experience disagreements, misunderstandings and arguments. Contrary to popular opinion, disagreements and even arguments do not signal an unhealthy relationship. In fact, if handled in a healthy, respectful way, conflict and its resolution can actually strengthen a relationship. But how we communicate during these times can make all the difference.
When faced with a conflict here’s what you will need to succeed:
1. Listen to your partner without interruption. Whether you agree or not, they deserve to be heard.
2. Stay focused on the issue and be clear about what is important to communicate. Don’t let your emotions confuse the issue or misdirect you.
3. Get honest with yourself and be respectfully honest with your partner.
4. Do not play the victim. No one is a victim. We all have choices. Think carefully about yours.
5. Do not play games. Do not try to provoke a response or manipulate. Do not blame. Take personal responsibility.
6. Ask for clarification and tell your partner what your understanding is of the situation and what they are trying to communicate.
7. Pause. Take a moment to reflect instead of react. Do not speak or fire off a text or email on impulse that you will more than likely later regret. Impulsive reactions never lead to good outcomes.
8. If you still don’t see eye-to-eye, don’t beat the issue to death. Express your desire to resolve the situation and ask to revisit the issue after more thought.
9. Do not stay mad. Anger and frustration do not help resolve issues, they often make matters worse. Stay focused on what is important.
10. Reaffirm your love for your partner and reconnect. Express your feelings and needs and recommend a resolution.
Using these top 10 points of conflict resolution will help you dissolve most disagreements and conflicts and get your relationship back on track with honesty, integrity, and respect.
Share your thoughts and experiences on conflict resolution in the comments below and let us know what has worked best for you.