Conflict within a relationship is usually seen as a harbinger of trouble, however it is healthy to have disagreements once in awhile and learn to resolve the concerns together by working constructively as a team because at the end of the day a relationship is a partnership.
There are various ways to resolve a conflict and some of the most common conflict resolution styles include:
Avoiding the Conflict
Different individuals have different ways to deal with a conflict. While some would like to talk about them and try to come up with a solution, others might feel emotionally overwhelmed or distressed and might completely detach themselves from the concern or sweep it under the rug. This might further cause emotional hurt to the partner as it tends to impact the communication channels between both the partners.
Giving in would require one partner to forego their point of view and agree or submit to the opinions or views of their partner. There are times when we have to understand that giving in might dissolve the issue there and then but it does not resolve the concerns and it might crop up again and there is also a possibility that the partner who gives in might start building on feelings of resentment and have grudges towards the partner and the other partner might treat their needs with less importance.
It is important to acknowledge that maintaining peace should not come at a price of emotional hurt for either partner.
Standing your Ground
While standing one’s ground is necessary for certain important topics like core moral values or concerns that one partner cannot be comfortable with. However, it is also equally necessary to know that there is an option of agreeing to disagree wherein we acknowledge that we are unique as individuals and there might be various areas in our life where we might not see eye to eye.
That does not have to be a sign of trouble in our understanding or compatibility as long as we are willing to put forth our points respectfully and not let it get the better of the bond that we share with each other.
Compromise means that both the partners are willing to work on the differences of opinions and try to come up with a middle ground to accommodate each other’s perspectives or needs.
In such style of resolution, both the partners agree to negotiate and visualize the bigger picture rather than focusing on the nitty gritties of the challenge they are facing
Collaboration plays a major role within conflict resolution and requires courage and much consideration. Collaborating with the other party involves listening to our partner, discussing goals and opinions and ensuring constructive resolution of the concerns faced.
STEPS FOR POSITIVE CONFLICT RESOLUTION
Although conflicts offer an opportunity to people to get to know each other better and grow together in a more positive way, it all depends on how well we are able to handle and manage conflicts that arise with time.
When handled positively, it leads to an increase in understanding, patience, respect and love for one another. However, if handled poorly, conflicts could lead to misunderstandings, resentment and broken relationships.
1. Will the event or situation hold value 5 days down the line – If not, is it worth the conflict? We must remember that conflict is inevitable but combat is optional. We must evaluate for ourselves whether winning the argument holds more priority or the relationship we share
2. Us V.s The Problem– Using more of ‘we’ & ‘us’ statements rather than ‘me’ & ‘you’ statements conveys that both the individuals are on the same side. It helps to foster connection even if there are conflicts.
3. Previous Baggage– Do not bring up past issues while discussing a present area of concern- Focus on the issue at hand and resolving it. Set aside a different time to discuss other areas of concern as bringing up multiple issues all at once will further add to frustration and agitation that one is feeling and brings in more negativity.
4. Gestures– Our non verbal and verbal gestures do play an important role when we are trying to resolve a conflict.
a) Do not take on an accusatory tone even if there are differences of opinions. It further aggravates the situation rather than resolving it. 10% of the conflict is due to difference of opinion, 90% is due to wrong tone of voice
b) Look at your partner in the eyes while talking to them rather than showing your back towards them or talking sideways.
c) Open arms and body gestures convey an accommodating attitude rather than crossed arms which convey distance and hostility
These small yet significant points can affect the dynamics of the interactions we have with our partners on a daily basis.
5. Focus on the concern rather than attacking the person– Instead of ‘you make me angry/irritated’ which is detrimental to the conflict resolution process, a better alternative is to use statements like “ It makes me upset when you do this” which separates the person from the behaviour or even better would be “ It would make me really happy if you could do this for us”. These statements give an impression that we are working towards fostering harmony and love in the bond rather than attacking our partner.
6. Keeping our anger in check– While we are in the heat of the argument, keeping our calm is easier said than done but that does not mean that such challenges cannot be overcome. When both the partners feel that anger or frustration is overtaking their interaction then they can mutually take a break and calm themselves down and then approach the concern again with peaceful minds. When we become emotionally overwhelmed then we are more prone to miscommunication and misunderstandings
Resolving conflicts is more rewarding than dissolving relationships