How to Resolve Conflict in a Relationship


Love... This word causes a lot of associations – happiness, smiles, dates at sunset, kisses, two people in love, etc. This is associated more with the positive aspects of life, with those events that bring joy to people, allow them to be in a state of bliss. This is exactly what happens when people start dating, but then a joint life and other circumstances appear, instantly blowing away a pink romantic mist from the head. Almost always, the problems of living together provoke the emergence of disputes, and over time, it becomes the turning point for love affairs.

relationship conflict

What Is Conflict Resolution?

Every person is an individual who has their own opinion. Therefore, there are disagreements between people because of the divergence of views on certain things or circumstances that occur both in everyday life and at work. Conflict resolution is a whole science, the main goal of which is to find the most appropriate ways to solve the problem between the warring parties. If you ignore disputes in a relationship, you can never know in advance when you will break up. For most unsuccessful couples who are on the verge of breaking or divorcing, conflicts become the reason for this. People don’t pay attention to the small dispute that they have, and, ultimately, it is becoming bigger and bigger, until it leads to a breakup or divorce. That is why it is so important for you to notice the slightest problem in your union as soon as possible. This will maintain harmony between you.

What steps might conflict resolution involve? To successfully resolve problems, you must be able to overcome stress and your emotions. Any relationship conflict usually causes people to irreparable disagreements, resentment, and breakup. But when the dispute is overcome in a healthy way, it increases understanding of each other, creates trust and strengthens relationships. Also, if you don’t control your feelings or control only a limited part of your emotions, then it is difficult for you to understand your own needs. This, in turn, can cause problems in communicating with other people. For example, couples often argue about small differences, not about what really bothers them.

If you want to successfully solve a problem, then you should do the following:

  • Stay calm. The key to resolving conflict in a relationship is to skillfully manage stress while remaining attentive and calm. This will allow you to more accurately understand the meaning of verbal and non-verbal signals.
  • Keep your behavior and emotions under control. Only by controlling your emotions, you can successfully resolve conflict without threats and rudeness.
  • Take into account the feelings of other people.
  • Respect others. If you avoid disrespectful words and actions, then the probability of a successful solution is high.

Conflict Resolution Skills You Need in a Romantic Relationship

Sometimes disputes are useful in relationships. Even the most serious disputes can have a healing effect. For example, cheating may cause both partners to think about what they are doing and why this happens with them, make them realize the value of a couple and hold them together for many years. Disputes are a process of studying each other. This is not a problem, but a task that can be solved if both partners want it. So, what conflict resolution techniques can be used?

conflict resolution techniquesFormation of a request. First of all, talk to yourself. And why, in fact, did this happen? How can this situation affect your couple? If it is easier for you to do this with someone in dialogue, bring all the deepest experiences to your mother, friend or specialist who will help you sort everything out. But don’t tell anything that you don’t like to your soulmate. At least, it will protect you from thoughtless actions.

Time for giving an answer. One of the main conflict resolution methods: when you are voicing something, give a partner time to comprehend it. It is better to take a pause for a day, two, or a week. Then, when you feel that the passions have subsided, you can return to the conversation and end the “war” with peace.

Avoidance of ultimatums. Whatever the cause of your discontent is, try to avoid ultimatums. Here again, you need to deal with yourself and ask, “Why am I doing this?” First, we can talk too much, and then at the peak of emotions, we begin to burn bridges.

Don’t approach personal disputes too rationally. There are always counter-arguments to arguments, therefore when resolving relationship dispute, appeal to feelings. The correct formula would be, “I want to believe you, I want it to turn out to be a mistake, but I feel that way. Please say or do something so that I don’t feel so bad.”

Be open and sincere. Say, “I love you very much, but it hurts me,” and then take a pause. This is a good way of conflict resolution in relationships. If a soulmate tries to restore your former comfort, it will be a positive reaction. If a loved one demonstrates indifference, then, most likely, this union actually exhausted itself.

Perceive a conflict not as a disaster but as an opportunity for growth. Forgiveness begins with our comfort. However, people in stress often don’t make any effort to solve the problem, as they are afraid to make it worse. So, don’t blame your partner. Maybe a person won’t answer because he or she is afraid of making things worse. Everything must be decided calmly.

Conflict Resolution Strategies

Caught in a confrontation with someone, many ask themselves how to resolve this dispute? However, more often you have to think about how to get out of a difficult situation while maintaining good relations. And here different conflict resolution tips and strategies will help you.

Competition strategy. If a person is active and intends to resolve the disputed situation to meet own interests, it is necessary to apply a competition strategy. As a rule, people, moving to resolve the dispute in their favor, force others to accept precisely their method of solving the problem.

Cooperation strategy. This strategy is useful in cases where each of the parties has time to search for common interests. But such a strategy requires tolerance and is effective in the case if no changes of the opposing sides are foreseen in the future.

Compromise strategy. Compromise means that opponents are trying to find a solution, which will be some kind of mutual concessions. The use of this strategy is possible if the parties have the same resources, but their interests are mutually exclusive. Then the parties will come to some temporary solution, and the benefit they receive will be short-lived. The most interesting thing is that a compromise is sometimes the only possible way out of relationship conflict when opponents are confident that they are striving for the same result, but they understand that, at the same time, it is impossible to achieve it.

Avoidance strategy. It is usually used when a potential loss in a particular dispute is much higher than the moral costs. For example, some people very often avoid making a controversial decision, postponing it indefinitely.

Adaptation strategy. This strategy is manifested in the fact that a person performs some actions, focusing on the behavior of other people, but at the same time, doesn’t seek to defend own interests. This pattern of behavior can be justified only when you don’t lose too much, giving in to someone.

How to Resolve Conflict in a Relationship

conflict resolution for couplesThe problem of any conflict is that it is able to turn the most ordinary person into a real savage. People are ready to go to the end, starting a real war against their soulmates, with all sorts of verbal battles and threats. Any dispute is just a divergence of interests. In it, there are no villains and heroes. There are only people with different desires and expectations. In order not to turn disputes into miniature wars, learn how to deal with conflict in a relationship.

Keep negative emotions in yourself. Of course, it doesn’t mean complete isolation from negative experiences. If you constantly accumulate an emotional charge inside you and don’t allow it to go outside, then an internal negative can result in the form of neurotic or psychosomatic diseases. In this case, it is meant to contain emotions directly during dispute – do nothing that you later regret.

Create a problem-solving plan. A dispute in which only recriminations are heard is a swamp in which you can get bogged down for a very long time. If you want to achieve a real solution to some disputed situation, then you need to come up with further actions. And they shouldn’t consist of accusations and reproaches.

Be flexible. Conflicts are very tenacious, and the reason for this lies in the lack of flexibility on the part of both parties. During this time, each person becomes a bit like a warrior, “I am ready to fight to the end, defending my interest because the truth is on my side.” We are so fixated on our own motives, emotions, and desires that we simply refuse to understand the position of our opponent. But following the steps to conflict resolution, you need to do quite a bit – first of all, just listen to the opinion of the other side.

Conflict is not forever. Disputes, like any process, have their beginning, development, and ending. No quarrel will last forever, and this fact is worth keeping in your head as one of the best conflict resolution steps. Life continues, and it is always better to think about what will happen in this “after.”

Don’t neglect your conflicts. Many people neglect disputes in their couples, thinking that they are too insignificant to give them any meaning. If you ignore the small dispute that has arisen, then it will be difficult for you to deal with the same dispute when it reaches a large size. So, in a conflict resolution process, always try to resolve disputes as soon as they arise. And never go to bed before settling everything with your partner.

Always resolve your conflicts from a position of love. Some people tend to hate their partners for the disputes they experience. And this is a completely wrong position. Hatred will only give rise to other disputes that will be endless, and this will increase the indignation. Thus, further life with your partner will be full of suffering until you learn to behave positively. Therefore, always use love instead of hate when settling your differences.

Avoid anger and negative emotions. Looking for conflict resolution for couples, first of all, make sure that you maintain your composure. Don’t lose control of yourself and don’t get angry at your partner. Anger and negative emotions will only harm your couple. Avoid falling into this trap. Keep your head cool in dealing with problems in your love affairs.

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