Relationships go through motions. If there was a recipe for ‘forever happy after’ I am sure we all would pay money to get it. Arguments, discussions, conflict or just silent disapproval and unhappiness are emotions we all wish to avoid.
I find arguments and conflicts very hurting and it takes me quite long to get back to a ‘all is well’ mode. As much as we all know that these things are part of life we wish we could go without.
Here are some ideas and methods for conflict prevention and/or conflict resolution in relationships.
- 15 minutes: Set one hour a week aside to do this exercise. It is about true listening. Each person has 15 minutes to talk. Rely messages of what is going well and not so well in the relationship. Use the time to talk without being interrupted by the other party. The other person can take notes but the most important exercise is to truly listen and trying to understand the other person not to formulate a response/defense. After the first 15 minutes there can be a short exchange and then the other person takes 15 minutes to talk.
- Take a break. Take a weekend or a day or an evening and do something on your own. It seems obvious but still something to be reminded off. An evening on the couch does not count. Plan something separate outside of the house.
- Write it down. If there are a few things bothering you, write it down. Don’t send it immediately. Let it simmer for a day or two, read it again, rewrite it and then send it off or talk about it.
- Don’t argue at night. Rather go to sleep and discuss the next morning. Being tired and worn off from the day does not help in solving conflict.
- When it gets heated, take a break. Walk around the block, prepare a meal – do something that makes you cool off. Shouting and hurting comments are more difficult to heal.
- Talk to a friend. It’s probably an advice I don’t have to give to most women...we do share with our best friends...and it is good that we do. It’s important to hear other perspectives. Many men don’t but they really should.
- When you argue about something, stay on the point. Don't bring other things in that are not relevant to the current situation.
- Take some time when you are in a good space to look at your relationship from a rational point of view. Assess and analyse the relationship as if it was a business, an organisation or a process. It sometimes helps to take the emotions out.
- If you find yourself arguing all the time it might be good to ask a third party to listen and assist.
Anything to add?