Conflict will happen from time to time in your life, but if you deal with it properly, it doesn’t have to be destructive.
Signs of damaging conflict
Ask yourself these questions:
- Are you always arguing with the same person about the same thing?
- Do one of you end up shouting?
- Do you become so angry that you forget what you’re arguing about?
- Does it take you a long time to calm down?
Conflict: What you can do
- Think about something that you repeatedly argue about and talk about it with the person when you are both calm and in a good mood.
- Focus on dealing with the issue instead of criticising or demeaning the person.
- Actively listen to the person to understand what it is like for them.
- Don’t bring up old arguments and issues, stay in the present.
- Be honest with yourself and accept responsibility for what you can.
- Think about other perspectives and solutions.
- Remind yourself what is good about this person.
- Be patient. Sometimes it takes a while to work through conflicts, but when they lessen, it leads to a better relationship.
For some people, there are issues that will never be resolved. If this is the case, perhaps it is best to agree to leave those topics alone.
If you’re struggling with relationship issues, give one of our MensLine Australia counsellors a call on 1300 78 99 79.