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9 Surefire Ways to Can Conflict Before Everything Hits the Fan

9 Surefire Ways to Can Conflict Before Everything Hits the Fan

You know the drill: you and your mate have a disagreement, you get triggered, and before you know it you’re in a full-blown battle.  Your heart’s pounding, words are flying, you’re trying to defend yourself and you feel totally misunderstood by the person you love.

conflict cannot survive without your participation

    It really shouldn’t be this way. The question is, how do you work through and resolve an issue before everything hits the fan? It’s really pretty easy if you learn to watch your triggers, slow things down, and remember you love the person you’re having a conflict with.

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    Here are some first steps to make it happen:

    #1 Know your triggers

    Everything is easy to control on the front end—that’s why you have to pay attention to your triggers. Triggers are what set you off and cause things to quickly spin out of control. Before you come back with a less than Christ-like response to your loved one during an argument, you’ll want to pay attention to your tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language. 

    #2 Take a deep breath

    Deep breathing has a calming effect on the central nervous system. Men are especially prone to being flooded by strong emotions during an argument, so taking a few deep-relaxing breaths during a conflict can help calm things down.

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    #3 Slow it down

    When emotions are hot we often say things we don’t mean, which is why it’s important to slow things down during conflict. Taking a time-out is a great way to collect your thoughts and re-engage later when you have a better perspective on things. Don’t be afraid to ask your spouse for a time out, but agree together when you will come back and revisit the issue, as just walking away can send the message that you don’t care.

    #4 Be willing to listen

    Most of us suck at listening. We think we’re doing a great job, but in reality we’re so busy trying to frame our own argument that we fail to really listen to the other person’s heart. Listening means looking at the other person and hearing their concerns, and not interrupting until that person is finished talking. It also means reflecting back what that person has said to make sure that they have been completely understood. After that, it’s your turn to talk.

    #5 Practice empathy

    Take the time to cultivate love, empathy, sympathy and compassion toward others, as these virtues will help you understand your mate better. If you can put yourself in another person’s shoes when conflict arises, it will help you listen better and reach a compromise quicker.

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    #6 Surrender your rights

    When we’re in conflict with another person, we hold tightly to our rights to be understood. We also want to win the argument and drive our point home. Be willing to surrender your right to be understood and be willing to walk in humility: doing so can change the entire course of the disagreement.

    #7 Memorize this

    Here are nine power-packed words that will help can conflict; commit them to memory. “I’m sorry. I was wrong. Please forgive me.Use them generously.

    Make a repair attempt

    When emotions are heated, the last thing we want to do is move toward our mate, but that’s exactly what we need to do. A repair attempt is something we do to re-connect. Remember to use “I” statements to talk to your partner, rather than “you” statements: instead of saying “you hurt me when…” for example, switch it to “I feel hurt when you…but I want to resolve this together because I love you”. This deflects any blame from them, and encourages their empathy towards you.

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    Don’t play the blame game

    Most of us are quick to drag past offenses into the present situation; don’t do it. Stick to the issue at hand. Blaming your mate won’t get you anywhere and will only serve to ramp up the other person’s defenses. Instead, try practicing humility, which will turn things around quickly.

    Conflict is unavoidable in life, and can actually be beneficial if you approach it with the right attitude because it gives you a chance to get a window into your partner’s soul. It can also open the door to personal growth and maturity if you’re willing to implement the strategies mentioned above.

    Remember, at the end of the day it’s not always about being right, it’s about being attuned to the person you love.

    Back at you: How do you find yourself handling conflict? What has worked and what hasn’t?

     

    More by this author

    Rita Schulte LPC

    Licensed Professional Counselor

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    Last Updated on September 17, 2018

    7 Signs of an Unhappy Relationship That Makes You Feel Stuck

    7 Signs of an Unhappy Relationship That Makes You Feel Stuck

    Relationships are complicated and when you’re unhappy, it can be difficult to tell what’s causing it and what needs to change.

    Sometimes it’s as easy as opening up to your partner about your problems, while other times it may be necessary to switch partners or roll solo to get your mind straight.

    When you’re in the thick of things, it can be difficult to tell if you’re unhappy in your relationship or just unhappy in general (in which case, a relationship may be just the cure you need).

    Here’re signs of an unhappy relationship that is possibly making you feel stuck:

    1. You’re depressed about your home life.

    No matter what you do in life, you’re going to have good and bad days. Your relationship is no different.

    However, no matter what you’re going through at home, you have to feel comfortable in your own home.

    If you constantly dread going home because your significant other is there, there’s a problem. Maybe it’s something you already know about, everyone has an argument or just needs some alone time.

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    When that yearning to be alone becomes an insatiable obsession over the course of months and years, it’s time to realize you’re not the exception to the rule.

    You’re unhappy in your relationship, and you need to take a look in the mirror and do whatever it takes to make yourself smile.

    2. You aren’t comfortable being yourself.

    Remember all those things you discovered about yourself when you first got together? The way your partner made you feel when you met that made you fall in love with him or her in the first place.

    If they don’t make you feel that way anymore, it’s not the end of the world. If your partner makes you uncomfortable about being you, then her or she is only dragging you down. It’s up to you to decide how to handle that.

    You need to be comfortable with who you are. This means being comfortable in your skin and with the way you walk, talk, look, breath, move, and all the other things that make you uniquely you.

    If the person who supposedly loves you doesn’t make you feel good about yourself, know that you can do better. They’re not even one in a billion.

    3. You can’t stop snooping.

    Mutual trust is necessary in any relationship. The only way to get that trust is with respect.

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    I can find you anywhere online, no matter how private and secure you think you are. The odds of you having a password I can’t crack are slim. If we’ve met in person, I could install a remote key logger on your device without even touching it.

    Finding your information online hardly takes a clandestine organization. Any idiot with a Wi-Fi-enabled device can cyberstalk you. I’m just the only idiot in the village admitting it.

    So now that we know everyone snoops, it’s time to address your personal habits. Governments snoop because they don’t trust us. If you’re snooping on your partner, it’s because you don’t trust them.

    It’s ok to have doubts, and it’s perfectly normal to look into anything that looks weird, but keep in mind that data collection is only half of an investigation.

    If you find yourself constantly snooping and questioning everything, clearly there’s a trust issue and the relationship likely needs to end.

    4. You’re afraid of commitment.

    If you’ve been dating longer than a year and you aren’t engaged, it’s never going to happen.

    Commitment is important. People will come up with a million ways to describe why they can’t be committed.

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    No matter who you are if you like it, you need to put a ring on it. Find an engagement ring, stick a gemstone in it and marry the person. If you’re not legally able to get married or you don’t believe in it for one reason or another, have a child (or adopt one, however you’re able to) or treat your partner’s family like your own. It’s a huge financial and mental commitment.

    If you’re not ready for one or the other after some time, don’t waste anymore of your precious life on the relationship.

    Your relationship should be something that propels you forward. If it’s not going anywhere, make it an open relationship and call it what it is—dating multiple people.

    5. You imagine a happier life without your partner.

    If all you’re doing is imagining a happier life without your partner, it’s a sign that you’re in the wrong relationship. You’re unhappy and you need to get out.

    Your partner should be included in your dreams. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a future with someone.

    Try to remember what you dreamed of before you got your heart broken by the realities of life, love and the pursuit of human success.

    Remember when you would crush on that cute kid in class? You would secretly imagine marrying him or her and going on an adventure—that’s the way life should be.

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    If you’re not at least imagining adventures together, then why are you in that relationship?

    6. You resent, rather than love your partner.

    When a relationship starts to crumble, you begin to resent your partner for all the things you once loved about him or her.

    When you’ve reached this point, your partner has reached at least No. 2 on this list. From your partner’s perspective, your unhappiness with them is picked up as bashing them for being who they are.

    If you’re both unhappy in the relationship, it’s better if it ends as quickly and painlessly as possible.

    7. You chase past feelings.

    It’s okay to reminisce about the past, but if all you do is wish things were like they used to be, it’s a sign you’re not on the right path.

    You’re unhappy and, at the very least, you need to have an open dialogue about it. This isn’t necessarily a sign that the relationship should end, but it definitely needs a spark.

    When you talk to your partner candidly about what it is you’re looking for, you never know how they’ll react. The risk alone is worth it, good or bad.

    Final thoughts

    If you’re feeling stuck in your current relationship, it’s time to reflect about it with your partner. Don’t ignore these signs of an unhappy relationship as they will slowly go worse and harm both you and your partner in long-term.

    Featured photo credit: josh peterson via unsplash.com

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