Resolving Conflict in Your Relationship – Let’s face it; every couple has their ups and downs. Arguments are a normal, and expected part of any relationship. However, when a couple is unable to effectively resolve conflict the quality of the relationship begins to suffer. Listed below are a few ways a couple may work towards successful problem solving, and reduction of unnecessary or prolonged conflict.
Focus on the problem. It is easy to get caught up in an argument, and begin throwing personal jabs at your partner. Don’t. This will often lead to defensiveness, and increased hostility. Focus on the situation that led to the problem, not the person. If the remark has nothing to do with the current situation, don’t bring it up.
Actively listen. Allow your partner to voice their feelings, and beliefs in regards to the problem, and truly listen. Give them your undivided attention. Do not interrupt. Once they have finished, repeat back to them what your understanding of their concern is. This shows your partner that you respect, and care about their opinion even if you disagree. This also allows you to better understand your partner’s needs.
Know when to take a break. If the argument is beginning to get out of control, know when to take a step back. When the situation is elevating, continuing the argument will likely make things worse. Give your partner, and yourself some alone time to calm down, and cool off. This may take 30 minutes, or an hour. But, be sure you come back to readdress and solve the problem once you are calm. Do not leave the conflict unresolved.
Compromise. When unable to reach an absolute agreement, compromise. Find a solution that works for both of you. Relationships are all about give and take. And you won’t always see eye to eye. Know when to stand up, and when to back down. Finding a resolution that you both can agree upon will help to build trust, and dwindle future conflict. It’s a win, win.
Although these techniques are effective in resolving relationship conflict, certain situations require further assistance from an outside source. If you and your partner are having difficulty in your relationship, guidance from a professional therapist can often be of great assistance. As a trained professional, I am eager to help facilitate these steps to resolving conflict, and building happiness in your relationship.