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Published on May 14, 2020

How To Resolve Relationship Conflicts without Hurting Each Other

How To Resolve Relationship Conflicts without Hurting Each Other

Relationship conflict affects even the happiest couples. But how do you resolve an argument when you just can’t seem to agree?

It can feel overwhelming and downright frustrating when you feel like your partner isn’t listening to you. Many couples make the mistake of trying to talk over each other instead of talking to each other during relationship conflict.

But real communication isn’t about who can yell the loudest or who can take pot-shots at the other. It’s about resolving an issue at hand.

  • What causes relationship conflict?
  • How do you handle conflict in a relationship?

How you handle a disagreement says a lot about how you feel about your partner. That’s why we’re looking at 9 respectful ways you can resolve relationship conflict without causing a rift between you and your spouse.

1. Don’t Yell – Communicate

Communication is the cornerstone of healthy, successful relationships.

Partners who communicate with one another build a sense of trust. They understand how the other one thinks and feels and knows what triggers to avoid.

Communicate with your partner regularly – especially if you’re disagreeing.

When things get heated, it can be difficult to keep your cool. If you want to resolve relationship conflict without hurting your partner, avoid yelling and name-calling.

Speak to solve by asking questions such as:

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  • Who are you angry with?
  • What is at the root of the problem?
  • How can you resolve the conflict?
  • How can you prevent this issue from coming up again in the future?

2. Learn to Listen

Listening is just as important as talking when it comes to conflict resolution.

You show your partner dignity when you hear what they have to say. It would also be wise to stay quiet and patient as your spouse expresses their feelings.

You can also resolve relationship conflict respectfully by avoiding distractions.

Maintain eye contact as you talk, and eliminate distractions such as the television, radio, or phone.

3. Choose the Right Time to Bring up Differences

If you have an issue you want to set right with your spouse, it’s important to choose the right time to bring it up.

Problem-solving will go smoothly if your spouse is alert and in a good mood.

But bringing up a subject that could lead to an argument would not be wise if they are cranky, tired, stressed out, hungry, or distracted.

4. Watch Your Tone

Do you understand your tone of voice?

We may think we are saying something in a mild manner to our spouse only to have them burst into tears, convinced that we are yelling at them.

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If you want to resolve relationship conflict without hurting your partner, avoid using sarcasm or belittling tones.

Arguing over text is a sure-fire way to be misunderstood by your partner. Your spouse is left guessing what tone you’re speaking to them with.

If you feel that you’re being misunderstood via text message, call your spouse and clear things up immediately.

5. Show Respect

When things get heated, you may resort to some disrespectful speech or actions that you normally wouldn’t.

Disrespecting your partner is one of the worst things you can do during an argument.

You can resolve relationship conflict without hurting your spouse by taking a minute to cool down. Conflict resolution isn’t about seeing who can yell the loudest or opening old wounds to make your partner submit. It’s about solving a problem.

Show respect to your partner during disagreements by:

  • Sticking to the topic at hand
  • Taking your partner’s opinions seriously
  • Not interrupting your spouse
  • Listening patiently
  • Letting cooler heads prevail

6. Remember That You Love Each Other

We tend to get carried away when we are upset, but it’s important to remember that the person you are arguing with is also the love of your life.

Not even the happiest couples agree on every matter. It’s okay to have disagreements once in a while so long as you treat each other with love and respect when you do.

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Don’t sleep on an argument.

You never know what tomorrow will bring, so why not makeup and give yourselves a peaceful night’s sleep?

7. Have Empathy

Misunderstandings turn into arguments when couples don’t understand where the other person is coming from. That is where empathy comes into play.

Empathy is the ability to understand someone else’s feelings.

When you have empathy for your spouse you’re able to put yourself in their shoes and see things from their perspective.

Having empathy is essential to resolving relationship conflict peacefully. When you empathize with your spouse, you are giving them your attention, bridging the divide in your argument, and promoting compassion.

8. Agree to Disagree

Whether it’s about politics, religion, or family, there are going to be some occasions where you and your partner simply can’t agree.

In these situations, it’s best to agree to disagree. This means that you both accept that neither will change the other’s mind on a matter.

So long as the matter at hand is not pressing and will not negatively impact your family dynamics, such as poor financial decisions or issues involving, simply agree to disagree and move on.

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9. Learn to Forgive

One way you can avoid hurting your spouse’s feelings during relationship conflict is by learning how to forgive them.

It’s easy to say you forgive someone, but forgiveness is more than your words.

You show you forgive someone when you let the matter drop – not using it as leverage in a future argument.

True forgiveness means letting go of the anger you feel and treating your partner with love and respect after the argument is over.

Final Thoughts

Learning how to communicate is essential for couples who want to solve relationship conflict without hurting each other’s feelings.

The keys to great communication are learning to listen, staying respectful, trying to see a situation from your partner’s perspective, and forgiving each other. These tips will help you resolve your issues without starting a war.

More Tips on Resolving Relationship Conflicts

Featured photo credit: Joe Yates via unsplash.com

More by this author

Sylvia Smith

Sylvia is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt its principles in their relationships.

6 Reasons Why You Should Not Give Up on Love 12 Relationship Deal Breakers That You Shouldn’t Tolerate How To Resolve Relationship Conflicts without Hurting Each Other How Being Vulnerable Leads to a Healthy and Fulfilling Relationship How the 5 Love Languages Help Strengthen Your Relationship

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1 What Is Life About? 9 Ways to Find Your Meaning in Life 2 7 Things To Remember When You Feel Broken Inside 3 Focus On Yourself, Because Most Of The Time No One Really Cares 4 10 Principles for Success to Live Your Dream Life 5 10 Powerful Ways to Be More Confident

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Last Updated on August 10, 2020

10 Principles for Success to Live Your Dream Life

10 Principles for Success to Live Your Dream Life

Are you stressed out and overwhelmed, wishing you had more time to do the things that really matter? Are you ready to do something better, something special in your life or your career?

If you’re ready to do what you want in life, then the 10 principles of success are what you need to follow.

You were born with a gift that no one else in the world can express like you. When you dance to your own music, you naturally develop your innate abilities and excel in work and life. You are a total rock star. But when you live someone else’s idea of who you should be, it throws off your groove.

Many people—maybe you—stopped following their dreams way too early in life because their talents were ignored, minimized, or shamed. They didn’t have the chops to win an American Idol competition or nab an Olympic gold medal, so they stopped expressing their inborn gifts altogether.

You don’t need to be an award winner to rock your life. Living your dream life is about discovering your superpowers and feeling vibrant and joyful when you use them. It’s about owning what makes you unique and finding like-minded people to support you.

Here are 10 success principles to help you live a rich and rewarding life on your terms that have worked with thousands of people in my workshops and will work for you, too.

1. Get a Hobby to Move Closer to Your Dreams

If you never became a professional dancer or a world-renowned author, it does NOT mean you should stop dancing or writing! These activities make you come alive, even if you “only” do them as favorite pastimes.

Engaging in a hobby is one of the most important success principles you can follow to move closer to your dreams.

When you try something creative for the first time or in a long while, you begin to see opportunities at work and in life that you were unaware of before. You also feel happier and more energized, according to a recent study from New Zealand.[1]

Some of my most burned-out executive clients reinvigorated their careers by discovering a creative outlet that refueled them after the workday ended. Research at San Francisco State University shows that having a hobby lowers stress and helps you succeed at work.[2]

So, give yourself permission to try new things and revisit old passions you gave up long ago. Setting aside just one hour a week for personal exploration can significantly change your life.

Who knows? Your creative outlet could transform into a thriving business or lead to a new profession down the road.

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2. Focus on Your Strengths, Not Your Weaknesses

Did you know that you are more likely to succeed when you develop your natural strengths rather than work on your weaknesses? The problem is that you probably don’t know where your true talents lie.

Here are a few options to help you discover your unique strengths. You can:

  • Take the VIA Character Strengths Survey[3]
  • Try Gallup’s CliftonStrengths Assessment[4]
  • Answer a few Superpower Questions

Once you understand what makes you tick, you can use these skills at work and your personal life to get more done in less time. If you boost your unique abilities through practice and study, you can accelerate your career and become a leader in a field that matters to you. It’s worth investing in yourself this way.

3. Jumping off a Cliff is NOT Required

Here’s the deal: most people are too afraid to change. When participants first come to my workshops, they tell me they have mouths to feed, bills to pay, and fear that if they follow their dreams, someone will get hurt.

The old saying “leap and the net shall appear” does not comfort them. Because they are hesitant to plunge into the unknown, they believe their only option is to stay put where they are in life. Can you relate?

You do not have to sacrifice the life you have now to start a new one. I was a psychology professor by day and singer by night for years before I transitioned into a full-time music career.

Just take a little time out each week to do what enlivens you through a hobby, volunteer work, etc. Get a feel for it.

Is it what you really want? If so, increase the time you spend doing it and make the transition when the time feels right.

4. Give Your Inner Critic Some Love

The main culprit that keeps you from stepping outside your comfort zone and getting the life of your dreams is KCRP or K-CRAP – the radio station that plays 24/7 in your head. The moment you try to do something interesting with your life it slaps you down with such chart-topping killer hooks as “Who do you think you are?” and “You’ll never be good enough!”.

Have you ever noticed that KCRP’s mean-spirited DJ sounds like your parents, teachers, bosses, and other authority figures who shut you down creatively? These folks don’t need to stifle you any longer (although they often still do) because your inner critic does it for them. That keeps you stuck in a rut.

To break free, try thinking of this DJ as a gruff old grandfather who gives you crap to keep you safe. Remember, this grumpy grandpa is woefully out of touch with the times. So, his stern opinions don’t really matter much, do they? Give him a pat on the back for his good intentions, and put your focus back on what makes you come alive.

This success principle will give you the courage to venture into the unknown where you can dance to the beat of your own drummer.

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5. Embrace Your Inner Self

Many of us don’t go after our dreams because we’re afraid folks will find out how odd or strange we are. But our little eccentricities often turn out to be our greatest strengths. Yes, it’s good to be quirky.

Odds are, you lost track of your true passions and talents before you were even old enough to know you were getting off-track. You became slowly “adulterated” by learning to:

  • Take on family roles that don’t match who you really are.
  • Spit back what teachers taught you in school rather than risk getting bad grades for being original.
  • Hide parts of yourself that don’t seem acceptable to certain social groups.

The price for fitting in is that you may wind up leading a life that doesn’t fit you all that well. Your true calling becomes clear when you embrace what makes you different from others and allow yourself to stand out from the crowd, even if it feels awkward. Often, the very qualities you view as your flaws are your greatest gifts.

Here’s How to Listen to Your Inner Voice for Greater Fulfillment.

6. See the Bigger Picture to Find Your True Calling

I cannot stress the importance of this success principle enough. Your true calling is right in front of you. But you may miss it because you’re looking for it in the wrong place.

To “see” it clearly, try widening your point of view.

Case in point: Maria felt she needed to retire early from being a police detective, so she could travel abroad. I encouraged Maria to think of ways that she could continue to serve as a law enforcer (a career she loved) and travel overseas at the same time.

A few months later, Maria landed a job with the United Nations in Bosnia training the local police force to understand and embrace human rights procedures.

Like Maria, you are an everyday rock star capable of accomplishing greater things than you can imagine. Is what you’re looking for right in front of you, too? Do you have an inkling of what it may be?

Look beyond your day-to-day activities, your current job, and even the town you live in. View your life from an eagle’s perspective and be open to new possibilities.

7. Try a Little Wish-List Magic

Pretend I’m your fairy godmother and I give you permission right now to be your most magnificent self. What kind of life would be music to your ears? It doesn’t matter whether it seems unattainable or even downright crazy. Write it down on a wish list.

Get quiet. Be honest. Think big.

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What would you like your career, your relationships, your health, your finances, and your spiritual life to be like? Jot down enough details so that your wishes seem tangible to you. Then, look at this list every morning before you start your day and every night before you go to sleep.

Sounds silly? It’s not. It works! Permitting yourself to daydream about a rich and fulfilling life is the first step to manifesting it.

8. Take Breaks to Get Clues About Your Ideal Future

Did you know that working straight through to a deadline leads to diminishing returns? Research shows that taking a break for 15 minutes every 75 to 90 minutes can help you recharge, refresh your focus, and get more done in less time.[5]

Wait, it gets better! A Stanford study shows that walking increases your creative output increases by 60 percent. Doing repetitive activities such as walking, running, riding your bike, swimming, and sweeping allow solutions to problems to pop into your mind out of nowhere.[6]

What does this success principle have to do with creating your dream life?

These mini-breaks allow you to get vital clues for what to do next to attain your ideal future. Plus, you won’t waste precious time and energy getting lost in other people’s agendas.

9. Take Action on Your Inspired Ideas

Once an inspired thought pops into your mind, take action.

This is one of the most powerful success principles for turning your dreams into reality; the sooner the better. Whatever it is—from calling an old friend to taking a new route home—be sure to do it!

Pay attention to your oddball hunches. You need to go after what you want, not just dream about it. As comedian Jim Carrey warns,

“You can’t just visualize and go eat a sandwich.”

10. Count Your Rockstar Moments

Still not sure you have what it takes to get your dream life? This final success principle is guaranteed to help.

Make a list of everything you’ve ever accomplished. As you read back through it, put a star next to each item, and let it sink in.

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You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how good you’ll feel about yourself afterward. You’ll also see how effective you’ve been in the past at getting what you want. You’ve succeeded before, you can succeed again.

You already rock. You just need to own it. Trust me, you’ve got this!

Final Thoughts

Eleanor Roosevelt said,

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

Following these success principles will help you find the time and energy to do the things that really matter and live with clear intention.

By spending just one hour a week doing something you love, focusing on your strengths and achievements, embracing what makes you different, and acting on inspired ideas, you can create a life that is a perfect fit for you, step-by-step.

If you don’t have a clue about what your dream life could look like yet, don’t worry. Your heart knows. It has been “talking” to you for a long time. It’s just being muffled by KCRP, buried under a lot of “shoulds” and fear.

This article can also help you figure out the life you truly want to live: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up.

Stand still, get quiet, and listen. It’s constantly telling you what you need to do to realize your own rockstar potential. It may be just a whisper now, but the more you pay attention to it, the louder it will get, and the easier it will be to follow.

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Featured photo credit: Rahul Dey via unsplash.com

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