Archive for June, 2013

How to Use Conflict to Strengthen Your Relationship

 Conflict: /kənˈflɪkt; ˈkɒnflɪkt/ kahn-flikt; verb: To come into collision or disagreement; be contradictory, at variance, or in opposition; clash

That’s the official definition, and here’s mine: It tears couples apart. It brings couples closer. Surprising how it can do both, right?

We’ve been conditioned our whole life to think that conflict is bad. However, conflict can actually be used to help you and your mate become closer:

1) Don’t “blow up” and spew your conflict out in public. Schedule some time each week to discuss things that are on your mind that you would like to be addressed. If you want the conflict to bring you closer, it is very important that you and you partner are alone or with a professional mediator. Having an argument in public leaves the door open for others to add their 2 cents.
2) Hold off on discussing any issues while you are entrenched in the emotions. Emotions drive us to do and say things that we later regret. Take some time to gather your thoughts and get them straight before you express them. Controlling your emotions is critical for relationship success.
3) Learn to communicate your issue in a way that your partner will understand and be able to receive openly. Use an active listening approach. A tip is to schedule time to privately discuss your conflict in a calm voice. When you’re finished, ask them to repeat what you have said in their own words so that you know they understand. Once you know they understand, let them know how you would like to handle the situation. Never present a problem without suggesting a solution.
4) Praise one another for being open and honest. Acknowledging that you’re partner has been open and honest shows gratitude and respect, two important ingredients for relationship success. A true sign of love is allowing your partner to admit a wrong or express a feeling freely with appreciation from you, even if you don’t necessarily agree.

These are some tips to use conflict to strengthen your relationship with your partner, lover or spouse. If you and your honey can work out conflicts as I outlined above, then you will have an incredibly intimate relationship that others will learn from, appreciate and respect.Can you think of a time when conflict has helped, rather than hurt, your relationship? Dish to me about it below.