How to deal with conflict in relationships

 

couple arguing photo

How to deal with conflict in relationships

Deal with the problem, not the person

Focus on resolving the issue rather than blaming the other person. Blame never solves anything and leads to defensiveness. The other person will stop listening and want to defend themselves if you are insulting them or verbally attacking them. Once a conversation becomes insulting, the interaction is no longer productive. If a disagreement gets personal, pause the conversation. Act like an adult as much as possible.

Use reflective listening

Often, we focus more on getting our own point across instead of really listening to what the other person is trying to tell us. Get into the habit of repeating back to the other person what they have said to you, in your own words. This shows them that you are really listening to them and opens the way to better communication and to both people feeling understood.

Use “I” statements

When sharing a concern, start your sentence with “I”. For example: “I feel hurt when you ┬ádon’t tell me you’ll be late”. With this sentence format we show that we are taking responsibility for our own emotion rather than blaming our partner. The alternative sentence – “You never tell me when you are going to be late” will often cause the other person to close down and become defensive. Try to avoid using words such as “you always” or “you never”.

Know when to take time out

Know when to call a break if the conversation gets personal, insulting or stops becoming resolution focused. Spend some time apart to cool down and only return when you both feel able to listen and move forward in order to find a solution.

Work towards a resolution

Disagreements are part of most relationships. If it becomes clear that you and your partner will not agree, focus on a resolution instead where you compromise and negotiate towards something that you both find acceptable. Ask yourself whether this conflict/disagreement really matters that much to you or whether you are willing to make concessions for the sake of the relationship. Sometimes it is better to be happy instead of right!

Mandy X

2 thoughts on “How to deal with conflict in relationships

  1. Mandy Kloppers Post author

    I know. This isn’t a foolproof method and there are some people that just don’t have the skills to see things from another person’s viewpoint. Sometimes reflecting back to someone what they have said and then asking them if you have got that right can help. Keep asking questions….
    Others just enjoy an arguement and I try to steer clear of those people!
    M x

    Reply
  2. Amy Valentini

    My problem is dealing with people who, no matter what is said, they must argue it in return. I’ve repeated back what they’ve said, exactly at times, and they disagree with that as if not realizing that was what they had actually said. Very frustrating. Some people always have to be right…no matter what.

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