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Conflict Resolution

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Conflict Resolution

When someone does something we do not like, we tend to focus on what they did wrong. We judge. We criticize. We point out what we deem to be their faults. The person, in turn, feels hurt or angry. The conflict escalates and distance occurs. If conflict resolution is your goal, this is not the way to go about it.

Conflict in relationships does not have to follow the above scenario. A common mistake is made by thinking blame needs to be assigned to someone. You do not have to prove who did what wrong. This is a lose – lose way to approach interpersonal conflict.

Instead, the way to deal with conflict in relationships is to express your reaction without blaming it on the other person. Focus on what you thought, how you felt, what happened from your perspective. You are not to make assumptions about why the person did what they did. You are not to hand over responsibility for your emotions, reactions, fears, behaviors, etc. Simply provide an explanation of your experience.

The other person then has the opportunity to respond to your concerns - instead of having to defend him/herself from your accusations.

The quickest way to deal with conflict is to avoid blame or judgment. Simply explain your experience to your partner. Your goal is to share your emotions and worries, not to decide who is bad. Challenge yourself to not view your partner's behavior as “wrong.” While it may be displeasing to you, this does not make one person right and the other one wrong. Furthermore, he/she is not responsible for your reaction. Your feelings are important and should be communicated in this way so your partner can hear you.

He/she may not give you a great response at first. A defensive reaction is normal, not a sign the person does not care. Do not give up or fall into old patterns of arguing. Instead, repeat this process until he/she hears you.



4/24/2008 12:07:06 PM
Ashley said:

I totally agree in wat u are saying about conflicts in a relationship. i catch myself at times doing one or more of the items u listed.

However, i do have a ? and wanted to know how would one resolve this conflict and move on...


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