How to Resolve Conflicts In a Relationship Without Causing More Hurt

(Learn the psychological tricks behind a conflict-free relationship)

"Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional"

- Max Lucado
Conflicts in a relationship are a healthy sign.

It means both of you have skin in the game.

Both of you care.

Fights and disagreements are inevitable in an intimate relationship.

When two people spend a lot of time together they are bound to have disagreements.
It's a sign of a need for change.

It's an opportunity for growth and understanding.

But troubles occur when these conflicts are swept under the rug.

It works for a while.

Then things start to get ugly.

The disrespect and the name-calling starts.

The hurt escalates.
The result?

Intimacy dies.

So if you want to solve your conflicts, you have to air them.

You have to learn how to resolve them in a constructive way.

So here's how to resolve conflicts in a relationship without causing more hurt:

- Choose a good time
- Be Direct
- Be Respectful
- Don't Deal in Absolutes
- Listen. And I mean Really Listen.
- Don't Be Defensive
- Know When it's Time to Take a Break
- Work Towards a Solution

Let's dig in.
1. Choose a good time

Plan ahead.

Allow yourselves enough time for a thorough discussion.

Try to talk in a quiet place where you can both be comfortable and undisturbed.

Think ahead about what you want to say.

A little preparation goes a long way.
2. Be Direct

Hints don't work.

Moping and sulking is of no help

Passive-aggressive remarks cause more harm than help.

Whenever in conflict, always take the direct way.

It's much more effective than going through any indirect way.
3. Be Respectful

A conflict doesn't give you a hall pass for disrespect.

Be respectful under all conditions.

Don't start blame games.

No name-calling.

And absolutely no character denigration.
Focus on the specific behavior rather than doling out blanket statements.

Just state the facts. Don't try to interpret another person's motivations or intent.

It's incorrect more often than not.

There is never a good reason to cross these lines of decency.
4. Don't Deal in Absolutes

Stay away from words like "always" or "never".

These are fire starters.

And if you think about them, they are almost never true.

This will only cause your partner to shut you off.
What to do instead??

It's better to start your sentence with "I".

Neutral language is much more helpful in resolving conflicts.
5. Listen. And I mean Really Listen.

Listening is a lost art.

But it's a skill that has the power to escalate any situation quickly.

While resolving a conflict, stay present in the conversation.

Don't interrupt.

Don't assume you know what they are going to say.
Instead, mirror their words or phrases.

Label their emotions.

Ask more open-ended questions.

And stay a trooper even when you disagree with what is being said.
6. Don't Be Defensive

When you're criticized, it's hard not to get defensive.

But defensiveness doesn't solve problems.

Instead, arouse your curiosity.

Ask questions and learn more about why they think that way.

Make them feel listened to.

Then say what you have to say.
And don't start your sentence with "yes, but".

It's invalidating.

And it escalates the conflict further.
7. Know When it's Time to Take a Break

Just because you're following the rules, there's no guarantee that your partner will.

And that's okay.

You can't control that.

But you can always decide when it's time for a time out.
If the exchange is too emotionally taxing then take a break.

You don't have to grind yourself to your limits.

Put your mental wellness first.

But make sure that you take a go at the conflict resolution once again.
8. Work Towards a Solution

The aim of conflict resolution should always be finding a solution.

Make it both of you against the problem.

Not you vs them.

Take accountability instead of putting blames.

Find a middle ground.

Your ego is not important than a relationship.
Conflicts in a relationship can be frustrating.

And facing them can be awkward and difficult.

But avoid them and the health of the relationship deteriorates.
Instead, face them head-on.

Follow the basic rules of decency.

Work toward a common solution.

And soon the relationship will feel like a thing worth having again.
Like what you read?

Then follow me (@resilientthuman) for more such content.

Or join my newsletter for an even more nuanced and in-depth take.

No B.S and fillers. Only actionable advice 👇
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