Do you struggle when resolving a crisis? Are your conflict resolution skills holding you back as a couple? Join the crowd. But, there is hope. I'll show you some tips on how to resolve a crisis effectively.
Communication patterns surrounding conflict vary from couple to couple. Some partners carry the ineffective patterns they learned from their early-life role models into their relationship, re-enacting the same faulty patterns their parents used.
Some couples have good conflict resolution skills, and others don't. It's the luck of the draw.
If you were lucky enough to grow up in a home where your parents modelled good conflict resolution skills, then you will have an advantage in your own relationship. And, you know what many couples don't . . . that dealing with conflict doesn't have to be difficult.
1. There is never a substitute for sincere caring. Show that you care by not using foul language with your partner and by treating him/her with respect, despite your angry emotions or frustrations.
2. Listen, listen, listen. Don't just articulate your view. Listen to truly grasp their point of view.
Never allow yourself to slide into just one point of view -- yours -- because there are always different ways of seeing the same events or situations.
3. Set some rules, like no yelling. Each party must practice emotional control. If you're too upset to talk, then don't. Wait.
4. Instead of hurling criticisms at your partner, turn your complaints into REQUESTS. Your partner will be more likely to follow through in a constructive way . . . and make the changes you desire.
5. Avoid shoveling all the blame for your ills upon your partner's shoulders. It takes two to tango, and both spouses usually have contributed to the problem in some way. Accept responsibility for your own emotions and conduct.
Yes, a good relationship partner accepts responsibility for their own actions. Or, at least tries.
6. Be polite and respectful to your mate. You can do that, even when you're angry or disappointed. It may take practice, but why not learn that skill?
7. After the argument or fight, use a tender tone of voice with your spouse. No need to continue the fight or punish your partner. No need to keep feeling badly!
Examine yourself. What's it like for others to interact with you? Are you quick to anger or sour in temperament? Then, stop using your marital problems as an excuse for being cranky, demanding and irritable. You can be polite, positive and pleasant, too.
And, if you can't, get some help. Go to counseling for an anger control problem or an aggressive tendency.
Once you make changes in yourself, then your conflict will have a way of dissolving naturally.
Steps for Resolving a Crisis
Now, after the conflict, get busy doing your part to solve the problem. Act constructively. Make your relationship a priority.
Get over it quickly. That's what successful couples do. They don't participate in a cold war with their spouse. They say they're sorry and get back to having fun and being happy again -- fast!
You’ll find it easier to work out your problems when you establish an upbeat and supportive emotional environment, and you keep your communications on a positive level, while you and your spouse are trying to resolve your differences. That way, you won't end up trashing your relationship in the process.
And a happy marriage will make the rest of your life more enjoyable. Research shows a happy marriage can add six or seven years to your life expectancy. I hope you'll take steps to make yours happier right now.
There are three excellent books on this subject:
Tempted to throw criticisms and hurtful comments at your partner? Remember, that's like throwing darts. Put the dart back in your wallet, and communicate in an assertive and calm way. No barbs or darts, please!
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