How to Deal with Conflict in a Relationship

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Arguments are normal, but they shouldn’t turn into personal attacks or attempts to make the other person feel bad about themselves. You may be being abused if you can’t say what you want to say without worrying about what will happen.

Just because you fight with your partner doesn’t mean things are bad. Fighting can make your relationship better if you know how to handle it. If you never fight or talk about your problems, you’ll never figure out how to solve them. When you deal with disagreements positively, you can learn more about your partner and find a solution that works for both of you. On the other hand, conflicts can also get worse and make people feel bad without being solved. 

How can you make it more likely that you can work out the problems in your relationship? Here are 10 tips backed up by research:

1. Create a safe space.

By providing a place where each person does not feel threatened by the other’s reaction or judgment, creating a safe space in a relationship can aid in conflict resolution. 

This can help people talk to each other openly and honestly, which is important for addressing and solving problems.

Having a safe space can also help partners build trust and understand each other better, which can help stop problems from happening in the first place.

In a healthy relationship, you and your partner can talk about what’s bothering you and what’s going well. 

It’s important to talk about the good and bad things in a relationship so that neither person feels like they’re doing everything wrong.

2. Be direct.

This means being clear and direct about your thoughts and feelings instead of being vague or avoiding the issue. 

This can help stop misunderstandings and confusion, which often lead to fights. Being direct can also help set clear limits and expectations in a 

relationship, which can help stop problems from happening in the first place. It can also make it easier to solve conflicts since both sides will understand the problems and be able to work together to find a solution.

It’s important to remember that being direct should be done with respect and without getting into an argument. 

To avoid misunderstandings and ensure the message is clear, it’s important to listen carefully and be open to the other person’s point of view.

 Also, it’s important to strike a good balance between being direct and understanding. Understanding can soften the message and make it more likely to be taken well.

3. Don’t blame your partner.

When you’re upset, blaming your partner can hurt your relationship because it makes the other person feel angry and defensive, which makes it harder to solve the problem. 

It can also hurt the person being blamed emotionally because it can make them feel guilty or ashamed. 

Also, blaming your partner can make them feel like they are not valued or respected in the relationship. This can cause trust and communication to break down.

It’s important to keep in mind that relationship problems are usually caused by more than just one person’s actions. 

Couples can work together to find a fair and good solution for both of them if they don’t focus on who is at fault and instead try to understand and solve the real problems.

Read more about: 5 Ways to Start Holding Yourself Accountable in Relationships

4. Focus on the issue.

Focusing on the problem at hand can help solve it by bringing attention to the problem or concern causing the conflict instead of getting caught up in blame or other unimportant details.

By being clear about the problem, both parties can better understand what is causing the fight and work together to solve it.

When people focus on the problems, they usually have a clearer idea of what needs to be changed or improved. 

This can make it easier to find possible solutions and judge how well they work. 

This can also help keep the conversation from turning into personal attacks or other unimportant details, making it harder to find a solution.

5. Listen to what your partner wants to say.

Listening to what your partner has to say shows that you care about what they have to say and want to understand their point of view. 

This can help you work out a disagreement. By actively listening, you can figure out the real problems and worries and work with the other person to find a solution that addresses them. 

Also, if your partner feels heard and understood, they are more likely to work with you to find a solution that works for both of you.

It can be very frustrating when you feel like your partner isn’t paying attention to you. When you talk over your partner or act like you know what they are thinking, you don’t give them a chance to say what’s on their mind.

6. Look for a compromise 

Finding a middle ground can help solve a disagreement in a relationship because it lets both people feel heard and understood. In a compromise, both sides give up something and try to find a middle ground that solves both sides’ problems. 

This can help people feel less angry and frustrated and more fair and willing to work together. Also, when both sides want to find a middle ground, it can help build trust and strengthen the relationship.

Compromise is a key way to solve problems, and it might be easier than you think to find a middle ground.

If you and your partner can’t agree on whether you should hang out with your friends or your partner’s friends, switch days or do your own thing for a night.

7. Don’t be defensive 

When there is a problem in a relationship, it can be harmful to be defensive because it can make the problem worse and harder to solve. 

When someone is defensive, they may become set in their ways and refuse to see things from the other person’s point of view. 

This can make it hard for people to talk to each other and find a solution that addresses the needs of both sides. 

Being defensive can also make the other person feel attacked or alone, hurting the relationship even more. 

Being defensive can make it hard to figure out what’s going wrong and find a way to fix it. 

Instead, you should go into the conversation with an open mind and a desire to learn about the other person’s point of view.

8. Pick your battles

When dealing with conflict in a relationship, it’s important to pick your battles because not every issue is important or worth fighting over. 

Choosing what to argue about carefully, you can focus on the most important things and avoid wasting time and energy on small disagreements. 

Also, it can help keep fights from getting worse and hurting the relationship more than they need to.

By avoiding small fights and focusing on the big ones that matter, picking your battles is also a good way to keep a relationship healthy. It lets both sides feel like they have a handle on their feelings and responds to conflicts in a more thought-out way. 

It also helps not to get caught up in the little things and instead look at the bigger picture. This can help keep a relationship that is healthy and happy.

9. Control your emotions

When dealing with conflict in a relationship, it’s important to keep your emotions in check because it can help keep the situation from getting worse and making it harder to solve.

When we’re feeling emotional, it can be hard to think and talk clearly. It can also make it hard to see things from the other person’s point of view and find a solution that works for both sides. 

Also, showing your feelings badly can hurt the relationship by making the atmosphere hostile and tense.

Controlling your emotions also makes it easier for both people to talk about their thoughts and feelings calmly and sensibly. 

It also lets both sides work on finding a solution instead of getting stuck in their feelings. 

Being able to control your emotions also shows that you are an adult and can take responsibility for how you feel instead of blaming the other person.

Read more about: Best Ways to Practice Emotional Self-Regulation in Stressful Situations

10. Try couples therapy 

Couples counseling can help couples overcome conflict by offering a neutral and safe space to share their challenges and concerns.

 A therapist can assist couples in communicating more effectively and understanding each other’s points of view. 

They can also provide ideas and techniques for effectively controlling emotions and resolving problems.

Couples counseling can also assist couples in identifying and addressing underlying issues contributing to relationship disputes, such as prior traumas, unreasonable expectations, and unmet needs. 

Couples can work together to discover solutions that address the root causes of their problems by addressing these underlying concerns.

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