Conflict resolution in relationships

A conflict in a relationship may be defined as any kind of argument or an ongoing series of disagreements, for example, how to spend time. It can be extremely stressful for the couple, feeling the need to discuss the conflict. Nowadays, the most common reason for failure of relationships is poor conflict resolution skills and unhealthy communication. It is not the issue that is crucial, but rather developing healthy communicating skills to “hang in” with each other and deal responsibly with conflicts. Five strategies for dealing with conflict in a relation are:

  • Be aware of your own issues.  Be accountable and own up to your part of the problem.
  • Don’t react immediately. Cool off first.  Listen carefully without interrupting to understand what doesn’t feel good to your partner and with genuine interest.
  • If you have a complaint or criticism, present it like an Oreo cookie couched between two positive statements so your partner will be more receptive and less defensive.
  • Stick to the topic at hand. Don’t bring in a laundry list of complaints about things that happened 10 years ago.
  • Use humour. Laughing can diffuse the intensity of an argument, keep perspective, and help lighten up the moment.

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