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Reduce conflict in a relationship

What Healthy Conflict in a Relationship Looks Like

By: Kristina Murr

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How to solve conflict in a relationship is a necessary skills for all relationships. Conflict is a normal part of a relationship, but not every way of handling conflict is appropriate or helpful. In a relationship, it’s important to handle conflict in a productive way. You want to resolve conflict as a team.

But, the reality is, that’s not how every relationship handles conflict. And maybe you try, but you’re not sure you’re doing it right. Handling conflict is not easy for anyone, especially when you or your partner get emotional. Conflict, after all, involves a lot of intense emotions on both sides.

In that case, what does healthy conflict in a relationship look like? How can you manage conflict in a way that brings you and your partner closer rather than driving you apart?

Avoid Accusations to Reduce Conflict in a Relationship

Conflict in a relationship can quickly devolve into accusations. When we feel threatened, our gut reaction might be to defend ourselves by pushing blame outward. But ideally, you want to avoid that. Criticisms and accusations can easily lead to your partner becoming defensive. You start attacking each other instead of trying to solve the problem. That doesn’t help anyone, and it definitely doesn’t solve the current problem.

Instead, the best way to address conflict with your partner is to stick to “I” statements and observations, and then seek solutions. Accusing them of never helping around the house, for example, is not productive. What you want to do is express how that makes you feel and figure out what can be done to solve the problem at hand. For instance, “When I’m the only one cleaning the house, I feel stressed and taken for granted.”

Take a Break

Sometimes during arguments, things get heated. It’s a natural reaction to discomfort. You start getting angry, or maybe you’re hurt. In those cases, you can try taking a break. Come back and try to address the conflict later, once you’ve calmed down. You want to handle conflict when you’re clear-headed, when you can be objective. And it’s the same for your partner.

It helps to focus on the good parts of your relationship while you cool off. It’s easy to think of all the bad things when you’re angry or overwhelmed. Remembering the positives can help you return to the conversation with the aim of solving the problem together as a team. It can help you deal with conflict in a healthier way once you’re feeling well enough to engage in it.

Work Together

You and your partner are a team. You’re in this relationship together. It makes sense that any trouble you may face, you should handle it together or support each other through it. Looking for solutions or resolutions has to be a cooperative effort.

That means, if the situation starts to get heated, you have to try to de-escalate. Remember, you aren’t trying to win an argument — you’re trying to solve a problem as a team. Working against each other probably won’t do that. Doing your best to win, to be in the right, won’t do that either. Instead, it can breed resentment and distrust.

Try to practice active listening. That means not interrupting each other and instead, focusing on what your partner is saying and giving them the chance to say their piece.

Seek a Therapist: Counseling Near Me

Individual therapy can be a powerful tool to enhance your communication with your partner. In therapy, you’ll explore your thoughts and feelings, acquire valuable communication skills, and focus on personal growth. This can lead to a more fulfilling and connected relationship.

Don’t underestimate the positive impact therapy can have on your connection with your loved one!

If you are looking for a virtual therapist in Georgia or an in-person therapist in East Cobb, contact us at hello@awakencounseling.com.

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