Peacefully Resolve Conflicts in Relationships
My husband said for the first couple of years we were together that things were going so well in our relationship that he was waiting for “the other shoe to drop” when we would have a big fight. I wasn’t surprised that it never happened. Mind you, we have areas of disagreement but they never become big issues.
As a student and coach of communications and relationship development, I am continually learning and practicing skills to enhance relationships. At one point my husband had an aha moment. He said, “I now understand why we are not going to have that big fight.” Below are some points he mentioned that I also believe are the some key elements of peacefully resolving conflicts in relationships.
1. Each partner takes responsibility for his/her feelings and his/her part in the situation. It is imperative that each partner acknowledge and reflect upon his/her own feelings and reactions to things.
2. Have a commitment/intention to put love in the space of your relationship. I will often ask myself something like, “How can I be loving to myself and my partner?” It is especially important to ask this question when you don’t feel like it.
3. Refrain from holding onto expectations of your partner behaving a certain way in order to “make” you happy. The minute you expect him/her to behave a certain way so you can feel better, you’re trapped in a no-win situation. You must make yourself happy and then be in relationship. Expectations will trap your partner into “having” to be a certain way and will lead to resentment on his/her part or disappointment on yours.
4. No assumptions. Whatever you do, don’t assume he/she did something on purpose to hurt you. Instead, give him/her the benefit of the doubt and then seek to verify what the case is. Negative assumptions is like poison to a relationship.
5. Speak the truth about yourself. Use “I feel…” and stick to feelings (not words that imply he/she did something to cause this feeling). For example, feeling words include: sad, angry, depressed, insecure, confused, afraid, jealous, sick, frisky, elated. Words that implicate your partner (that you won’t want to use) include: rejected, pushed, conned, judged. Avoid using the word “you” when expressing your feelings. Stick to “I.”
6. Never lash out. Say nothing instead. And contemplate what you are feeling. Lashing out is merely avoiding facing the truth about what you are feeling.
These take practice. I will admit I am not perfect. What is key for me is staying conscious to these principles and apologizing quickly if I’ve stepped over the line. Thus, I highly recommend keeping them present in your life and practicing them. It will make all the difference.
These principles and many more are incorporated into the Feminine Power Cards which are daily reminders and practices for living in feminine energy and creating juicy harmonious soul-connected relationships.
Wishing you joy-filled connections.