The Secret of Managing Conflict
According to Merriam-Webster, the simple definition for conflict is “…to be different in a way that prevents agreement or to say or express opposite things.” If you are in any type of relationship, from BFF’s to old married couple; at some point you have been a participant in conflict. I dare say, if you share oxygen with another human being; you have been in ‘conflict’. So how do you handle it? What do you do? Remember these tips:
1. There are two sides to every argument. Everyone has a viewpoint and an opinion, a right and a wrong, when it comes to whose right, ‘no one is right’ (Gottman, 1999)
Unconditional acceptance. Before asking the other person to change in any way he or she must know that you accept (and respect) them just the way they are.
Laser focus on the ‘Good’. Learning to accept the other person’s habits or faults (i.e. strange to you or not) and loving them anyway is one of the major keys to a happy relationship. Believe in the goodness of the other person.
Drama’s not always bad. While it can be overwhelming to hear all of the negative feelings and emotions your partner presents to you; this information gives you an inside look into what he or she really needs in the relationship. “The best way to understand people is to listen to them” (Ralph, Nichols)
An adaptation of work from John M. Gottmann, PH.D.
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