Keeping peace in your relationship: 7 tips for conflict resolution

relationship-coach

Keeping peace in your relationship: 7 tips for conflict resolution

In a relationship, it is normal that you and your partner will misunderstand each other at some point.

Sometimes, it’s a minor issue that can be quickly resolved. Other times, the conflict will be more intense and emotionally challenging. Whatever the case, it is important to make peace as soon as possible.

Here are 7 tips to help you make peace in your relationship:

1)        Disagreements will happen – but don’t take them personal

Disagreements will often come up from time to time – there will be situations where you don’t share the same opinion or agree with your partner’s point of view.

We all grew up in different families – with different experiences and orientation. So, it is impossible to expect that we’ll all agree to everything and at all times.

As a result, the way you react in a given situation may be completely different from the way your partner was trained to react to that same situation. If you don’t understand this, you’ll keep having tension and constant quarrels with your partner.

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Pic: A couple arguing - happens in many relationships

I’m sure you’ve heard this before; but the truth is that in the heat of the moment, we tend to forget. And this leads us to see the disagreement as a personal attack to our ideals; or even as an attack to our personality.

Rather than treating the disagreement as a personal attack, try to create some emotional distance from the situation and analyse it from an objective perspective.

This will help you realize that your partner is probably just doing what they’ve always done – and is not trying to hurt you. And this realization is the first step you need to help you make peace with your partner after a disagreement.

2)        Talk things over as soon as possible

Talking things over immediately after a misunderstanding is still the best time to make peace and get it sorted. The sooner you reconcile with your partner, the better for both of you (and for the kids if you have any).

However, depending on the intensity of the argument, this is probably not the best time to start counting all the details of why you’re right and she is wrong. Instead, just focus on calming down the situation and establishing a room for effective communication.

When everything is much calmer, you guys can then talk about it with a view to avoiding a repeat of such.

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Pic: These two look like they want to save their relationship, so cool.

The key to this is: Don’t sleep at night with an unresolved problem. If you go to bed at night and sleep without addressing the problem, you’re less likely to talk about it again the following day.

When this happens, you two might still be cordial but after a while, the tension builds up from many unresolved issues…until you reach your tipping point and it all explodes.

3)        Don’t withdraw or avoid

In a relationship, especially when you live with your partner, there are so many opportunities to offend and be offended.

Sometimes, it can be exhausting – and all you want to do is keep quiet and go blank on your partner.

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Pic: This guy just blanked out on his partner. Too bad...

This withdrawal is very dangerous, and can cause even more problems than you had before.

Never ever withdraw or avoid your partner – you must learn the basics of effective communication to help you resolve conflicts.

4)        Say when you’re hurt – in a loving way

If you’ve been hurt by your partner, tell them lovingly. Most times, your partner will listen.

Be sure to do it correctly and at the right time – don’t do it in a nagging manner; nor be aggressive in your confrontations.

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Pic: This lady is hurt, but she's doing a great job of staying calm.

Instead, say it with love and calmness. But be sure to say it.

If you’re hurt and you don’t speak up, you will carry the pain in your heart and this will only lead to a long-term resentment.

5)        Be the one to take the lead, even if your partner does not

It sucks to be the one to make the first move – especially when you’re “innocent”.

But think of it this way: In life, the leader is the person who serves the most.  The stronger one is the person who takes the lead in making peace.

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Pic: She's taking him on a walk to talk things over. Nice.

So, it’s not a sign of weakness that you’re reaching out to your partner to make peace. Instead, it is a sign of strength.

If you practice this often enough, you many end up winning them over and teach them how to apologize when they are wrong. Whether that happens or not, just go ahead and make peace.

6)        Be quick to let go

I and my partner have an unwritten rule that is bound only by love and responsibility: Don’t let the other person say I’m sorry more than once.

That’s it. When there’s a misunderstanding and one party apologizes, just let it go. Don’t hold on to past hurts, and don’t refer to them in the future. Ever.

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Pic: Hey, I know you let it go. But where are you going?!!

Many times, you hear someone say things like: “This is exactly what you did the last time!” “Why can’t you ever change?” “You’re always doing the same thing; don’t you ever learn?” Etc.

Such blanket statements that refer to the past have a way of bringing back past hurts and emotions. You don’t need that negative energy in your life.

Just forgive and let it go.

7)        Rinse and repeat the process

Your relationship (married or not) is a long-term commitment. You can expect to be misunderstood a few more times.

So, you must be willing to trust the process and keep going. Don’t get tired; just make sure you’re learning and becoming a better person as you go.

When it’s all said and done, you’re with this person because you love them. Why not make it work?

I wish you well in your relationship.

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