As Teri said, conflict is unavoidable in relationships. It is always a red flag when couples tell us, “We never fight or have conflict”. Yikes! That means somebody is not saying something in the relationship! People really do view conflict as negative. It doesn’t have to be. Learning to do it in a healthy way can bring so much intimacy to a relationship. And that means any relationship: friendship, parent/child, co-workers. Here are a few more tips:
12. Anger is OK- it is all in how you express it! Hitting, screaming, sarcasm, and hitting “hot spots” are not OK.
13. Don’t let bad feelings get “stored up”. Work thru them daily so they don’t build and come out inappropriately.
14. Get professional help when needed. It is amazing how much having an objective person can help you really hear each other.
15. Be flexible. Compromise is a must- sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Being rigid and always needing to “win” will create an emotionally unsafe relationship.
16. Adopt a win-win attitude. As stated above, compromise is a must. But go into it believing both parties can win. Even if YOU lose, if it helps the relationship, isn’t that a win for you?
17. Competition about who wins and loses will just generate hostility. Try to be sensitive that each partner is winning some of the time. But don’t keep score. For example, “I didn’t get what I wanted last time- you did- so I should get what I want this time!” Sometimes you may win twice or lose twice. Don’t keep score!
Hopefully these tips will help you with your areas of conflict. Tomorrow Joleen will finish us out with 6 more tips. Thank you for reading! Have a great day!
*Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville.