Exploring Some of the Ways We Can Resolve Relationship Conflicts
Every human being is born out of a relationship. And that’s the relationship with those who gave you life. We’ll celebrate Mother’s Day next Sunday, and unless you’re part of some ninja technology I don’t know about, you were born out of your mother! So, the first relationship you form is with your parents. This forms an unbreakable bond that no matter how old you are, your relationship with your parents will always be a part of you. And sometimes, that relationship can be challenging.The Second relationship you form is with your siblings if you have them, other family members, and extended family. The third relationship you form, from a young age is with friends. And as you mature, some friendships become more meaningful, while others become less meaningful. That’s just the circle of life my friends; when you evolve, so do your relationships.
Then, you start dating- Wooo! And you meet your match made in heaven, right? And this is when you form another type of relationship, different from the previous ones ─you begin a romantic relationship! In some cases, this type of relationship can take over all your other relationships, as you become more and more involved with your romantic partner. One day, bam! You’re engaged and you both decide you want to get married, and take this relationship to a whole new level. Or, maybe you’re not married but, you’re in a committed relationship, and everything is roses and daisies! The honeymoon phase, who doesn’t love this phase?
But, as you evolve, so does your relationship, and there comes a time, when it gets tested. That’s when you start seeing the flaws in the other person. But, if you’re honest with yourself, you can also see the flaws in you as well. We all have strengths, but, we also all have flaws and weaknesses. That’s just the beauty of being human!
The Question of this Month Is: When You Get into an Argument, or a Conflict with Someone You’re in a Relationship With, How Do You Handle It? Are You a Conflict Handler or a Conflict Avoid-er?
How do you resolve conflicts and issues, in your marriage for example? Or in your friendships, or even in your business partnerships? Let’s explore this together and share with one another, so we can create a better world where people can agree to disagree, without killing each other. I’ll be the first to admit to my flaws: I hate conflicts. That’s right! I really do. But, you know what I have realized? I have realized that sometimes, conflicts are a part of life. And that I better learn how to resolve them when they arise, instead of becoming a conflict avoider. Now, this is not to say that I’m making room for conflicts to come into my life? Heck no! I’m just acknowledging the areas where I need to work more, and change the things I can change. It also means that I’m accepting myself as I am, flaws and all; and learning how to resolve conflicts if they do arise, and to the best of my abilities.
You can’t cause a conflict with yourself. Usually, a conflict means there is someone else involved in the conflict equation. It takes two to tango! And so, because it takes two to start a conflict, it also takes two to resolve it.
Below, I Share a Few Insights on Conflict Resolution.
You can add to the list of course, because this is not exhaustive by an account.
- Choose Your Battles: Not every conflict is worth your time and energy, and some issues are meaningless to invest in. So, use your free will to walk away from a conflict situation that’s meaningless to you. Evaluate the cost of engaging in a conflict versus the cost of letting it slide.
- Think Win-Win: When solving a conflict between you and another person, think how you can both win in handling the situation. Don’t emphasize on your problem and on your side of story only, when there is someone else in the equation. So, instead of sentencing them, think how you can contribute to resolving the issue in a way that allows you both to walk away winners, instead of a loser and a winner.
- Have Empathy: Instead of focusing only on you winning the argument, have empathy for the other person. What would you do if you were in their shoes? Maybe they don’t know how to handle things you’ve already mastered in life.
- Make Sure You’re on the Same Page When It Comes to the End-Result: Last month, I talked about Forgiveness and the Power of Forgiving (Video) those who hurt you. This is where you can choose the response instead of the reaction to conflict. Have an end in mind: What do you want the result to be after you resolve the conflict? Make sure you want the same thing with the other person involved in the conflict. Maybe, you’re having marital issues for instance; and the end-result for both of you is to resolve those marital issues. If you don’t have the same end in mind with the other person involved in the marriage, your conflict resolution will be a waste of your time, energy and in some cases, a waste of your money; especially if you paid a third party to help you, such as a marriage counselor for example.
- Resolve Conflicts in a Timely Manner: Don’t wait twenty years to bring up an issue. Women tend to be peace makers in the society, they are society’s nurturers, and therefore, they tend to put what’s bothering them on the backburner and try to forget it. But, what you don’t address doesn’t go anywhere. It recycles in negative energy, and every other issue adds up to that backlog, and one day, you blow up! You blow up in anger, resentment, and grudges, backstabbing, without even knowing you are doing that! And many times, that anger is misplaced, because you didn’t address the original issue in time. They say men and women don’t see an issue the same way. A woman is able to talk about an something that happened 20 years ago, and her man would be like: What are you talking about? When did this happen? I guess women have a good memory 😊 Is that what it is?
Here is the Rule of Thumb:
- Don’t compromise your values: Decide whether or not the issue is too important for you to ignore. Then resolve it to the best of your abilities. Seek help if needed, and then let it go. Address it in the time it happens; and then let it go and move forward.
- Take responsibility for your own actions: If you’ve decided the issue was meaningless 20 years ago, you cannot bring it back today! Come on now!
- Forgive and Let Go: This is where forgiving comes in handy, so you can let the burden of the past go.
What else can you do, or how else can you resolve your relationship conflicts? Please share and let’s continue this conversation.
I hope you’ve been enjoying these nuggets and tools of inspiration to help you work on yourself, so you can evolve through the adversities in your life. Let me know if you have any questions.
I’m always saying that the best gift we can give to ourselves is the gift of self-improvement. Because we only have this one life, and we should live it to our fullest potential. That’s why I love sharing these nuggets of inspiration, to help you work on you, and become the best version of yourself. Remember, you can’t change anyone else but you! And knowing how to resolve conflicts that can arise in your relationships is part of evolving through adversity.
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