The thought of a couple or friends fighting is a crazy idea for some. They believe that there is no need to fight. Ever. Contrary to that belief, no two people will agree about everything at all times.In any relationship you need to be able to:
- Negotiate differences
- Have room for constructive criticism
- Give opinions even if they differ
- Express feelings without judgment
A healthy relationship can benefit by knowing the skills for conflict resolution. You want to deal with a conflict respectfully and work together to find a solution that both you and your partner are comfortable with. Try and work out the differences that matter. Focus on what is important to you without resorting to hurting the other.
Try these helpful tips:
- Embrace the conflict. Conflict is normal and even healthy! When there are differences between two people, it just means that they can learn from each other and even show each other their growth.
- Go after the issue, not each other! Do NOT resort to attacking the other person. Focus on dealing with the problem without adding to it by hurting each other’s feelings.
- Be respectful and listen. Sometimes people feel strongly about something, so it’s important to listen to what they have to say. Acknowledge their feelings verbally or even just by listening. Never tell someone that they shouldn’t feel a certain way. Save your point of view until after the other person is done talking.
- Shhh… Talk softly. Often times, the louder someone yells, the less likely they are going to be heard. Even if one person is yelling, it shouldn’t mean that the other person should yell back. Talking softer opens up the opportunity to focus on the issue instead of all of the noise.
- Ask for specifics. Statements that include the words “always” and “never” will rarely get you anywhere and are not true. If a person has complaints and is using these words, simply ask them to be specific so you can understand what he or she is talking about.
- Look for options. Fighting can end when cooperation starts. Ask politely for suggestions or alternatives that might solve your issue. Be willing to try new things!
- Make PEACE! This is the most important tip… don’t end the conflict unresolved. Talk about it until some sort of arrangement can be made. If you need an hour to think by yourself, take the break and then come back to the issue. After all, your relationship is more important than winning the argument.