Put Your Interpersonal Conflict in Perspective

Black and white photo depicting an angry couple yelling with their hands raised

Is your interpersonal conflict important? If it ain't about life or death, it is indeed minor. That's something I learned from a near death experience. After coming back to the land of the living, I realized how absurd it is to squabble over small things.

Suddenly it made no sense to get upset over life's details. I saw how much I loved the people in my life, and how much I wanted to be with them. Now I had no desire to concern myself with petty arguments. I was happy to be alive!

If only we could learn to live this way every day -- without having to go through a life threatening experience -- then we'd know how to save our relationships. I have made a promise to myself and the people I love to always remember this realization, and to live by it.

I try to use it to change my behavior for the better every single day of my life. Make that promise to yourself and someone you love and you will not only resolve your interpersonal conflict and save your relationship, but improve it substantially.

Don't Burn Bridges

If you want to save your relationship, don't burn that bridge, no matter how angry or discouraged you may become. It is never a good policy to burn bridges.

So, whenever you reach that point of no return, you must remember to stop arguing and resolve your interpersonal conflict. If not, you may take the rift to dangerous depths. And you may be so angry afterwards that all you can think about is burning that bridge and cutting the person off from your life.

In time, almost all burned bridges come to wish they had not been burned. In time, those kinds of decisions come back to haunt us, sooner or later.

Those who burn their bridges easily, instead of working out the problems in a relationship, have some hard lessons to learn. They may not realize why they are miserable, or why their social life is rocky.

Rebuilding a Bridge

What is the remedy? How do you save your relationship?

First off, if you’ve burned a bridge, try to build it again. Let people know you were wrong. Let them know you value their friendship and that you will be there for them. Then make a habit of being there. Don’t be a fair‑weather friend. Don’t let them down. Give the rebuilding process time.

Also, rebuild a relationship for the right reasons. You must care about the relationship. You must want to have it in your life. Don’t do it because you need the relationship for business or some selfish reason. Build it again because you care about the person and want to be a part of his life.

It can be helpful to think about your priorities and re‑balance your life. If you have left no time in your life for resolving your interpersonal conflict, taking care of relationships and enjoying them, you may need to re‑examine your schedule.

I have seen some schedules that do not permit relationships, except the surface variety. They force the individual into rushing through life, working all the time, burning the candle at both ends. These individuals may be teetering on the brink of an addiction to work. It may be time to think about restoring a balance that can help you lead a more fulfilling life.

Save Your Relationship in the Present

If you have a relationship that needs attention, a bridge in need of rebuilding, stop and tell the person what you need to tell him now, not later. If there is something you need to talk about, bring it up now. Don’t put it off or keep secrets from people who need to know what you are doing. Love in the moment. Give to that relationship right now. In other words, save your relationship in the here‑and‑now.

If it’s hard for you to express your interpersonal conflict and feelings, then accept that as a developmental area. The sooner you begin to work on it, the quicker you will see change. There’s no excuse for not leveling with our loved ones, for keeping them in the dark. Honest communication is a necessity of good relationships. If we can’t learn to shoot straight with people in an empathic manner, then our relationships will be handicapped.

If you have been abusive in a relationship, take immediate steps to rectify the matter. Get professional help to learn how to end the cycle of abuse. Get the support you need in learning to change your behavior. It’s easy to talk about, but much harder to do. Take care of your issues before going back into the relationship.

Care For and Save Your Relationship a Little at a Time

Save your relationship by learning to love your relationship every second of every day; give to your relationship so it will constantly get stronger. Pay attention to small things. Acknowledge the power of relationships in all that we do. Make decisions which support your relationships. Think of the people in your life first, not the material objects.

You feel a tremendous sense of peace and comfort knowing that your interpersonal conflict is resolved and you have many close friends and associates. Trying to be at peace with everyone you meet is the only way to live life. Being nice to people, seeing the good in them, expecting the best, and working to resolve differences as soon as they pop up is the only way to go!

Taking care of relationships isn’t that hard to do. It begins with a commitment to pay more attention to your relationships, and to live your life so there will be no need for apologies later, no last‑minute confessions.

You know that relationship you really want to work on? Stop thinking about it, get busy and save your relationship today.


Go to Relationships Problems from Interpersonal Conflict