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Conflict in Senior Relationships

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Conflict in Senior Relationships

Viewing conflict in senior relationships, or any relationships, as an opportunity for growth can go against instinctive responses. When conflict arises, we often feel attacked. Our fight or flight response may be triggered. We think we must choose between passivity or defense. However, if you don't personalize the problem (i.e. make it about you) then this level of reaction becomes unneeded. Instead, you can logically look at the situation, open to the other person's input, and decide together what can be done to help make things better.

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.



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Barbara Gibson