By Dr. Vasavi Sunki, Psychology
When the honeymoon phase is over, you might realise that a relationship is a lot of work. And conflicts are unavoidable. There are two very distinct individuals involved in a relationship, and at times both of you will differ on a variety of issues. Thus, here are some tips to manage conflict in your relationship—
1. The contribution is never one-sided- Two of you are together in a relationship, so why is it always the other person’s fault? An argument never breaks out as a result of what one individual does. You and your partner both bring in problems and then react to it, and the ways you react add to the conflict. So, instead of playing the blame game, talk about how you feel about the situation.
2. Let go of your pride- Often pride stands in the way of compromise and reaching a common ground. An argument is not about who is wrong or right. Be accommodating, and if you think you should apologise, then do it. Don’t let your pride call the shots when you need to forgive as well.
3. No one likes to be controlled- No one likes to be treated like a child, and trying to control your partner will only make them feels angry and rebellious. Never force people to act the way you want them to.
4. Address the present, not the past- It is common to hold up past grudges when you are having a conflict in the present. It is destructive and unproductive. Past conflicts will never let you resolve the one in the present. However, if the past consistently bothers you, and your partner, visit a professional to seek therapy and eke out some comfort.
5. Time outs- Sometimes, when you feel like your emotions are getting the better of you, take a break. Take some time away to think properly. Sometimes a cool mind can help you see rationale and make you and your partner discuss your problems in a better way.
6. Focus on trying to discover what’s right, not who is right- When thinking about what happened, try to remove yourself from the situation and evaluate right and wrong based solely on the actions that took place regardless of which side you’re on. Treat it as if you are refereeing someone else’s game.
If we are fighting with someone, it means we both care about finding the best course of action and we both care about preserving the relationship. If we didn’t care about one another, then we would just ignore each other and leave.
The reason these tips are important is because as long as they are in place, then no disagreement or conflict will ever shake the critical bedrock of knowing that the other person cares about you. As long as we know the other person cares about us, it will give us a common ground to work from as we try to unite two seemingly conflicted views.