Relationship conflicts

Mental Health Blog / Wednesday, December 26th, 2018

Everyone experiences upsets and disagreements in relationships from time to time.  Relationship conflicts occur when people clash over differing opinions. Conflicts in themselves are neither good or bad but the way in which they’re handled can make or break a relationship.

If you find yourself in a relationship conflict, it’s important to step up and take responsibility for your part in it.  The alternative is to let stress and strong emotions spiral out of control and potentially ruin a good relationship.

You can create an amicable situation where neither you nor the person you’re not seeing eye-to-eye with will feel intimidated or dominated:

  • Always keep in mind that your goal is to resolve the conflict rather than to have the final word or win the fight.
  • Focus on the behaviour that’s causing the disagreement rather than the other’s character. Attacking another’s character can be a sure way to bring a relationship to an end.
  • Don’t make any assumptions about how the other responded. Listen carefully as they explain their actions.
  • Accept what they say. Remember, they don’t see things in the same manner you do and that’s okay.
  • Don’t compare the current conflict with any past ones you may have had with them. This will only open old wounds and cause more conflict.
  • Once you both have had your say, leave it alone. You might not come to an agreement but you’ll definitely understand each other better. And that is the most important thing.

Handling relationship conflicts in a win-win manner can not only help you grow closer and deepen your relationships, it can help you to become a better communicator.

If you regularly experience relationship conflicts and you feel you don’t handle them as well as you would like, I would be happy to explore how therapy could benefit you and your relationship.

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