Let’s face it, no relationship is perfect, and it shouldn’t be. As human beings we’re always learning, growing, and working on ourselves. We learn through conflict. We grow the most when we adversity strikes. It’s how we deal with it that’s important.The best thing you can do for yourself and your partner is to take care of issues when they pop up. It’s easy to feel defensive and angry when tempers flare, but here are a few Golden Rules to keep in mind when conflict comes between you and the person you love.
This is the number one rule to follow when you’re in the midst of conflict. If you’re feeling jealous, hurt, angry, worried, confused, or just downright annoyed, it’s easy to let loose with a flurry of words and actions that create more distance between you and your partner. Instead, take a deep breath and know that everyone is coming from their own point of view, their own past, and that the more calm, gentle, and compassionate you are, the faster and easier you can get back to a place of love and closeness with your mate.
2. Let love be your guide
Sometimes you may have to be silent while you collect your thoughts and take a few deep breaths. Once you do, ask yourself how “love” would handle this situation. You may want to point fingers or even walk out the door and never return, but that’s simply anger talking. Go deeper though, speaking and acting from an area of love. A loving person wants to find solutions to the problem. A loving person wants to understand what their partner is trying to say. A loving person wants to heal and strengthen a relationship anyway they can.
3. Let your voice set the stage
By keeping your voice level and in a normal conversational tone, you can keep things from getting heated between the two of you. Your voice is like a barometer for the argument. Raise your voice and automatically things start getting out of hand. Keep your voice at a normal level and you’re much more likely to get your partner’s attention and find workable solutions to the problem.
4. Avoid running away
Since the dawn of man we’ve dealt with the fight or flight reaction to conflict. It’s natural to want to lash out or turn around and leave when we’re in the midst of an argument. Instead, take a deep breath, lower your voice, and move closer to one another. You don’t have to physically move closer, but try to release your anger and allow a positive mental and emotional shift to take its place. Tell your partner that you want to listen, really listen!, and work on the issue at hand.
5. How to end conflict on the spot
This one tactic works wonders in any situation. You can usually diffuse even the angriest person and get back to a place where you can actually work on solving the real problem, and also get back to love and closeness. This must come from the heart or it won’t work, but try this: Next time your partner is angry and you’re finding it difficult to end the argument, look him/her in the eyes, take their hand and say, “I love you. I don’t like these bad feelings between us and I want to do all I can to make this right. What can we do to fix it?” By saying “we” you’re letting your partner know you don’t take all the blame nor all of the responsibility.
These tactics will help you effectively deal with conflict in your relationship and will work in almost any situation, no matter how badly things seem to be going. If you follow these rules, you’ll know you’re doing your part to create a healthy, loving environment in which to voice your opinions and feelings. You can diffuse a potentially harmful argument and turn it into an opportunity for growth and healing.