Conflict Resolution Strategies

Try these Conflict Resolution Strategies and enjoy yourself while dealing with disagreements. Build your relationship skills. By learning the secrets of resolving conflict painlessly. Just remember that conflict is a normal part of life.

Unfortunately, we sometimes act as though any kind of wrinkle in our relationships is like the end of the world. Many people were raised in families where problems were avoided, mishandled or blown out of proportion. Ineffective ways of dealing with disagreements were passed down from generation to generation. Family members learned to avoid the resulting distress because it was painful to face it.

In alcoholic homes, for instance, conflict is often avoided or dealt with in an angry, emotionally reactive manner. Disagreements routinely escalate into full scale battles where the eventual outcome is unpredictable, depending on the alcoholic’s mood or level of intoxication. The children are often traumatized by the fighting, or are thrust into an abusive situation.

When those children grow up, they often have poor communication skills. And they repeat the patterns they witnessed in their families of origin, ill‑affecting their adult relationships, as well as their relationships with their children.

Don't let Conflict Push You Out of Your Relationship and Into the Dumps

Black and white picture of a woman sitting with her right hand over her face and her let hand wrapped around her legs

Whenever you experience conflict in your relationship, it's time for the couple to buckle down and work together to communicate calmly and clearly. Conflict can actually bring you closer to your partner, especially if you resolve the conflict successfully. Be creative and solve the problems facing you in a way that works for both partners, resulting in a win-win situation. In a relationship, both must benefit and profit, and both must be happy.

You can stay out of the dumps by keeping calm and disagreeing in a healthy way. Compromise is the key to marital happiness, in my opinion. In a good compromise, both partners feel good about the results, and no one feels as though they've been taken advantage of.  There is no winner and loser, but two winners.

Conflict Resolution Strategies: The Good Side

Conflict Resolution Strategies will show that conflict actually has its positive side.

  • It can alert you to underlying problems or issues which you may have been ignoring.
  • It can help you to get a better understanding of the emotions involved.
  • It can promote healthy growth, helping you to grow closer to the other person.
  • It can serve as a release of tension.

When we see the constructive aspects of conflict, we no longer have to fear or dread it so much. View it as a kind of growing pain. A pain that can bring people closer together and give them a sense of confidence in their ability to deal with adversity and disagreements in a positive way.

Also, believe it or not, it can be an enjoyable process, if we perceive it that way.

Accept Responsibility and Avoid Blaming

In many relationships, people have to blame someone for the problem. It's always someone's fault. In fact, they can get obsessed with the notion that the guilty party must be exposed and punished.

Just think of the excessive amounts of energy some people expend trying to prove the case against the guilty party. It’s a matter of deciding who is right and wrong. It's always judge and jury time. It is time to be critical.

If we spent half as much time taking responsibility for our role in the conflict as we spend placing blame, we could resolve the situation quickly and move on. When no one is placing blame, it's much easier to settle a relationship problem without really trying.

Instead of pointing the finger at someone, we can take the initiative and admit our own contribution to the issue at hand. Our own mistakes. That does not mean accepting responsibility for the other person’s actions, which might lead to quite a guilt trip, but it does entail being fully accountable for our own actions.

As long as we remain calm, we can talk it out and get over it. People soon feel better, and the whole thing seems ridiculous in hindsight. We laugh and start having fun again. In fact, if we approach the solving of the problem in a light‑hearted fashion, it can be a rather fun process.

This is one of the key conflict resolution strategies.

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Conflict Resolution Strategies: Breaking from Problems of the Past

You may have handled conflict poorly in your past relationships, but you can break that habit any time. The first step is in becoming aware of what you tend to do, or the pattern that your interaction with your partner tends to take each time there is a conflict.

There is no one way to deal with conflict. Every successful couple finds their own way. One thing is clear, if you look at the research, successful couples get over their fights and arguments quickly. They move on quickly, and do not hold grudges or keep resentments.

If you need a little help figuring out how to prevent an argument from snowballing, just keep in mind these Conflict Resolution Strategies:

  • Stay calm and don't allow yourself to get upset.
  • Listen and pay close attention to what the other person is really trying to say.
  • Let him/her know you hear him.
  • Don’t judge or criticize ‑‑ just accept his/her point of view, even if you don't agree with it.
  • State your opinion in a non‑threatening way.
  • Agree to disagree, if necessary.
  • Do not insist upon being right.
  • Tell him/her you will give some thought to their ideas.
  • If it gets out of hand, suggest that you finish the discussion later, after everyone has calmed down.
  • Thank your partner for expressing his opinion.
  • Express some type of good will or affection for your partner when the discussion is over.

Keep working on your conflict resolution strategies. It'll take some time, but the key is to keep working at them.

Go to Advice on Relationships from Conflict Resolution Strategies
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