Not everyone is “wired” to be able to respond to conflict when it arises in relationships. Conflict is perfectly normal when two people decide to make a commitment to a relationship at any stage. Even couples that have been married 50 years have had to deal with conflict in their marriages. But, to their credit, they were able to do so in a productive manner and that is why they are still together.
Can you imagine for a moment if your partner simply went along with everything and anything you wanted? After a while this would get rather boring and mundane. Yet it is one coping mechanism people that don’t want to face conflict use just to avoid it. They figure by remaining agreeable, even when they disagree, it is better than getting into an argument.
However, this not very healthy for the relationship in the long-run. Being able to share a difference of opinions in a constructive manner is part of being in a relationship. Conflicts are going to happen. Plus, if you have a totally agreeable partner, there wouldn’t be any makeup sex later!
If your loved one has a hard time dealing with conflict, both you and your partner could benefit from couples counselling. Counselling can teach you different ways to address conflict in a manner your partner will be more receptive to, while also teaching them how to respond and deal with conflict.
Some of the different techniques and methods you can learn how to use for constructive conflict resolution through counselling include:
1. How not to accuse or place blame. People will avoid conflict when they are constantly accused or blamed for whatever is wrong.
2. Learning how to admit when you are wrong. It can be hard to admit we were wrong, but doing so can help make your loved one more receptive to addressing conflict.
3. Keeping personal insults to yourself. It is easy to start slinging insults at your partner when they are not responsive and want to avoid conflict. Knowing how to not do this, can help to get them to open up and take a more active role.
4. Allowing them the opportunity to voice their objections. If you don’t let your partner get a word in, they simply won’t want to deal with the conflict.
5. Learning how to use your “indoor voice” to keep communications going. Yelling and screaming are counterproductive when it comes to resolving conflict.
6. Knowing when to give them some space. Sometimes your partner may need time to think and process before responding to an issue.
7. Learning how not to be defensive. When you come across on the defensive, and your partner is already there because they hate conflict, it can cause them to shut down even more.
8. Working towards a resolution that you both agree upon. Finding a solution that you both can agree to is important and helps move through conflict and not dwell on it.