How to Resolve Conflict with your Partner in a Positive Way
Is it better to be right, or to be happy? Psychotherapist and Life Coach Didi Zahariades, MA, joined us to share ways to resolve conflict in a positive way so that everyone comes out ahead:
Let Go of the Need to Be Right
It is important to realize that your need to be right has nothing to do with your current argument, but most likely is a function of the way you argue. It is connected to your past, not your current conversation or relationship.
It is a destructive behavior to the self-esteem and confidence of the other individual, as well as preventing equality in the relationship. If you Win, then you create a Loser in your partner.
Having to be right alienates the other person.
It is arrogant for an individual to think he/she is always right. It is also arrogant to put someone down because he/she doesn’t agree with you.
If you need to be right, it is most likely an ego thing. The potential harm of your needing to be right may equal an increase in stress, the erosion of happiness, and the beginning of lack of trust in your relationship.
Stay Focused on the Current Argument & Listen
Healthy communication is a two way process and it involves the ability to actively listen to someone without interrupting or telling them they are wrong. This can only occur when you are listening to the current conversation and not plotting your next comment.
Avoid eye rolling, interrupting and rehearsing what you’re going to say next.
Practice empathy. Don’t underestimate the importance of really listening and empathizing with the other person
Stay present with the current discussion, not one that occurred prior.
Don’t be Defensive
It is impossible to listen and stay present in this discussion if you are defensive.
Defensive people are quick to deny any wrong doing and work hard to avoid looking at the possibility that they could be part of the problem in ‘this’ disagreement.
Be cautious of vocabulary, a defensive person often uses phrases of attack and generalizations such as ‘You always’ or ‘You never…’
You can put your guard down; this person loves you and is not attacking your character or you. This is a contained disagreement!
Be as respectful to your mate as if you were speaking to a co-worker or stranger.
Being mean may win the argument but will ultimately lose the relationship.
Watch your vocabulary; remember you love this person.
No one can hear anything when you are yelling; keep your volume and tone in check.
Get Over it.
If you are focused on winning this argument, you are creating a loser in your partner. Challenge yourself to see why this one argument truly matters. --- Give it a break, do you care 2 hours later?
Talk about ways to settle the argument that will meet both of your needs.
Be willing to change and keep an open mind.
Be able to say, ‘I’m sorry.’ It shows emotional maturity.