Conflict is a part of life. It exists as a reality of any relationship, and is not necessarily bad. In fact a relationship with no apparent conflict may be unhealthier than one with frequent conflict. Conflicts are critical events that can weaken or strengthen a relationship. Conflicts can be productive, creating deeper understanding, closeness and respect, or they can be destructive, causing resentment, hostility and divorce. How the conflicts get resolved, not how many occur, is the critical factor in determining whether a relationship will be healthy or unhealthy, mutually satisfying or unsatisfying, friendly or unfriendly, deep or shallow, intimate or cold. Conflicts run all the way from minor unimportant differences to critical fights. There are conflicts of needs, wants, preferences, interests, opinions, beliefs and values.
The Conflict Resolution start with the right frame of mind. Approach the conflict as two equals working together to solve a problem. Don’t be so caught-up with your immediate want that you lose sight of and forget your more important want of having a long, healthy relationship. If you are too angry or hurt to be able to control your feelings and remain respectful let yourself calm down before dealing with the issue.
Handling a conflict with a loved one, or someone you want to have a good, long-term relationship with is different than negotiating with someone who doesn’t care about your needs, such as a used-car salesman. With a loved one you have to be concerned with his/her best interests. You both should be open, honest and remain respectful, not deceptive, manipulative or disrespectful. Mutual trust is a necessary core issue in a healthy, long-term relationship and neither partner should do anything to weaken it.
Having a negative, distrustful attitude is detrimental to this process: believing you must win the argument or otherwise lose face is a bad attitude; feeling superior or being hard nosed and feeling inferior or being a soft touch are also harmful approaches.
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