Every relationship has conflict. Whether it’s a marriage relationship, parent-child relationship or a work relationship, there’s going to be conflict because there are two people involved, both with different perspectives.
Since conflict can’t be avoided it needs to be managed.
How are you managing conflict in your relationships or is it going unresolved? Are you frustrated with your relationships because they are just not working?
You may be doing some things that are making your conflict worse without even knowing it.
This post will help you identify where you are going wrong in trying (or not trying) to solve your conflicts.
So, let’s look at 10 things not to do when you are in a “fight”:
A third person is powerless to do anything about the situation and telling them about it only wastes emotional energy that should be used for resolving the conflict.
(I’m not talking about going to someone in confidence for advice about a relationship conflict, nor am I saying you should not get help if you are in an abusive situation.)
If you feel you are not ready to talk about the situation calmly then write down your thoughts and feelings about it. This will help you let off some steam, process your emotions, and get your thoughts in order before bringing up the issue with the other person.
Instead of sarcastic digs speak with sincerity when you are trying to resolve conflict. Guilt
It’s far better to pluck up the courage and be honest about what you are thinking, feeling or expecting. Instead of hinting at how full the rubbish bin is, ask your spouse or child to please empty it. Simple. Clear. Not “misunderstandable”.
11. Getting defensive. It takes courage to express a concern in relationship and when you get defensive it makes it much harder for the other person to bring up things in the future.
Figure out why you get defensive when things are pointed out to you. Are you assuming that because you are being corrected that you are a bad person? Separate your value from your behaviour.
Defensiveness doesn’t always take the shape of loud and ugly. I recently heard someone defending themselves in a calm, nice way, but it was still a defence instead of an acknowledgement of their mistake. Making excuses is a form of defensiveness.
Find another way of expressing your feelings about these situations. It’s better to say, “It seems like you often disappear when there’s work to be done.” The person will immediately feel less attacked and less inclined to fight back.
Learn to express your thoughts and feelings in a responsible, mature way so that those around you will be able to respond well. That doesn’t mean they have to do what you think should be done, but they at least have the choice and an understanding of where you stand.
Discipline yourself to stay engaged until your conflict is resolved – even if it means agreeing to disagree.
Relationships require work and dealing with conflict is part of that work.
Some simple changes in your approach to solving conflicts could make a huge difference to your relationships.
Learn to “fight” right.
Chuck out the bad tools and replace them with gentleness, honesty, sincerity and courage.
And speak “the truth in love.” (Ephesians 4:15)
Do you use any of these when you are in conflict? What’s the number one thing you need to change on this list?