Nobody likes conflict. Life would be so much easier if we didn’t have to deal with it every day. We see it at work, school, and in our personal lives. Unfortunately the place it seems to really take root and grip our emotions tends to be in our romantic relationships. When there is an underlying issue that is unresolved, sometimes people choose to ignore it and let it lie. But that is actually setting yourself up for a disaster. It’s like a ticking clock ready to explode.
Here are five suggestions on resolving conflict in your relationship.
1. Define the issue.
You and your mate should have a conversation where you actually define exactly what the problem is. This is where you can find out if you’re actually both on the same page. Believe it or not, sometimes a person is upset about something and the other actually has no idea what it is.
2. Face the problem head on.
Don’t avoid it once you know what it is. Choose to have a dialogue with your mate about how you both feel about the problem. Avoid trying to get the person to agree with you. This is the opportunity to face the issue and not ‘sweep it under the rug’ as people say. When it’s avoided, all that does is create more build up. Because as time passes the unresolved problem is heightened with each added conflict.
3. Learn to see the other person’s point of view.
When you take a moment to see the perspective of the other person, it might give you an idea of how to handle the situation. Learning to be more empathetic to another person’s feelings can really do some good in resolving any conflict.
4. Make a decision
Once you’ve both defined what the problem is, it’s time to make a decision. Is this an issue that can be solved? Perhaps it’s an issue that cannot and it involves acceptance.
For example, you may be having conflict because you love socializing and going out all the time, but your mate prefers to be low-key and have quiet nights at home. This is a case of different personality types and you shouldn’t make that become a root of conflict. This is a case where you have to make the decision to either accept the person for who he/she is, or you could ask yourself if this is worth fighting over. Perhaps choose to enjoy your socializing with a friend and allow your mate to enjoy his/her introverted nature at home.
5. Timing is Everything.
Choosing the wrong time to discuss an issue can escalate the problem further. If your mate just got home from work, don’t dump all the troubles on him/her as soon as he/she walks in the door. Allow some time for the person to relax and decompress from all the hours at work. It allows you to have some small bonding time before you dump a load of conflict on the person.
Also avoid bringing up heavy conversation if you’re both hungry, tired or working on something. Be patient and allow for discussions at better times when you can both contribute with 100% attention.
Always remember to choose the right time to discuss conflict.