What Is Conflict?
- Conflict occurs in the couple relationship when one partner tries to convince the other that their point of view is the right one.
- If one point of view is the right one then it stands to reason that the other has to be wrong.
- No one likes being told their point of view or opinions are wrong, so they become defensive and prepare for battle.
- If name calling then follows, disrespectful remarks, sarcasm or any other form of belittling behaviour - then it can be called conflict and results in the couple becoming disconnected.
- Basically a power struggle has occurred - where one person attempts to gain power over the other.
- This usually happens when they are feeling disempowered themselves, insecure or hurt.
IF this is YOU, then you may need some help in learning how to disagree in a way that poses no threat to the loving connection between you and your partner.
What is the difference between conflict and anger?
- Anger is a negative emotion. So is sadness, resentment, frustration and other forms of hurt.
- Anger may be how you or your partner reacts to conflict.
- A negative emotional reaction is very different from an appropriate response.
- When a person is able to respond appropriately, and take responsibility for their own thoughts and feelings without blaming their partner, they are said to be using effective communication skills. They are also being assertive which is very different from aggressive!
- A better way of handling negative emotions and reactions can be learned.
- Techniques such as Meditation, Mindfulness, Emotional Freedom Techniques and Meditation Music are all ways to help us remain centred and calm and connected to ourselves as well as our partner.
How are differences resolved then?
- Accept that it is OK and normal for two people to have differences. These differences may be ideas, desires, thoughts, feelings, opinions, attitudes - or anything else...
- Stop trying to convince your partner that you are right and they are wrong.
- Learn through Imago Dialogue techniques how to safely and effectively really hear your partner with genuine empathy and understanding and validate your partner's position as equal to your own.
- Learn to negotiate through effective communication skills for a win/win outcome.