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Conflict Resolution

Conflict Resolution

• Find the Real Issue- Typically, arguments happen when one partner’s wants are not being met. Try to get to the heart of the matter. If your partner seems needy, maybe they are just feeling insecure and need your encouragement. If you’re angry that your partner isn’t taking out the trash, maybe you’re really upset because you feel like you do all the work around the house. Learn to talk about what the real issue so you can avoid constant fighting.
• Set Boundaries- Everyone deserves to be treated with respect -- even during an argument. If your partner curses at you, calls you names or ridicules you, tell them to stop. If they don’t, walk away and tell them that you don’t want to continue arguing right now.
• Consider everything- Is this issue really important? Does it change how the two of you feel about each other? Are you compromising your beliefs or morals? If yes, it’s important that you really stress your position. If not, maybe this is a time for compromise. Also, consider your partner’s arguments. Why are they upset? What does the issue look like from their point of view? It is unusual for your partner to get this upset? Does your partner usually compromise? Are you being inconsiderate
• Agree to Disagree- If you and your partner can’t resolve an issue, sometimes it’s best to drop it. You can’t agree on everything. Focus on what matters. If the issue is too important for you to drop and you can’t agree to disagree, then maybe you’re not really compatible.
• Not focusing on the problem that we need to address-  Some people try to change the subject so that they don’t have to focus on the problem. Others may try and bring in all of the problems the couple ever had to avoid the original issue.
• Not listening to our spouse or partner causes problems- Interrupting your spouse or partner is one way to tell the person you are not listening.
•Finding fault with everything our spouse or partner brings up as a solution is not helpful. This is called “yes, butting” where one person can’t find anything to agree on.
•Displaying a negative attitude does not help when there is conflict. This includes: - Mocking or insulting the other person - Being defensive - Withdrawing from the conversation - Being aggressive or belligerent
•Get In Touch With Your Feelings- An important component of conflict resolution involves only you  knowing how you feel and why you feel that way. It may seem you’re your feelings should already be obvious to you, but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes we feel angry or resentful, but don’t know why. Other times, we feel that the other person isn’t doing what they ‘should,’ but we aren’t aware of exactly what we want from them, or if it’s even reasonable. Journaling can be an effective way to get in touch with our own feelings, thoughts and expectations so we are better able to communicate them to the other person. Sometimes this process brings up some pretty heavy issues, and can be helpful.
•Practice Assertive Communication- Communicating your feelings and needs clearly is also an important aspect of conflict resolution. As you probably know, saying the wrong thing can be like throwing fuel on a fire, and make a conflict worse. The important thing to remember is to say what’s on your mind in a way that is clear and assertive, without being aggressive or putting the other person on the defensive. One effective conflict resolution strategy is to put things in terms of how you feel rather than what you think the other person is doing wrong, using ‘I feel’ statements.
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