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Resolving Conflicts in Relationship

24 Feb 2017Psychology Essays

When one becomes an adult and they enter into various relationships with the members of the opposite sex they are prone to having conflicts in their relationships. The conflicts in relationships take various forms and they also include differences in ones opinions, perceptions as well the personality types. Such differences can further lead into conflicts in the relationships between the two spouses.
Similarly conflicts are a major part of our everyday life to some extent and thus they cannot be ignored. It is also very important if the people in the relationships would know how to resolve as well as avoid the many conflicts which surround them since such knowledge will further help them to have very meaningful relationships.

Conflict in relationships can result in various different reasons.

In relationships one of the hardest issues to handle is conflict. Even though a good and also a fair fight can help in clearing the air and it could also help the lovers draw closer to each other since many fights are just too hurtful as well as destructive. We therefore need to take a look at these conflicts and also work towards finding a lasting solution for them. (Wood 2007)With many conflicts in relationships there are different layers of what we feel, believe, hope for or even intend to do as well as what we actually say. However conflicts in relationships arise when we do not come from the deeper levels and only say a little of how we feel and we may even say the opposite of what we are feeling. Most of the people in relationships think that the top layer of whatever they feel or even think is all that there is but on the other hand they do not realize that something is missing in their relationships.

On the other hand other people in relationships know how they feel but instead of even stating their feelings as their own they continuously blame how they feel on their lover and this hurts individual feelings and it also leads to arguments which goes nowhere.There are various reasons why conflicts arise in the relationship between couples.

  • The communication failure- most of the conflicts in the relationships between couples are caused by lack of proper communication
  • The personality differences- different people have different personalities and their personalities highly determine their behavior and also attitudes towards different issues in life. If the personality of one spouse conflicts with the interests of the other spouse then in such a situation conflict is inevitable.
  • The value differences- different people in relationships hold very different values and this values may conflict thereby making the people who are relating conflict based on the values that they believe in. similarly in relationships conflicts could arise if one partner has values and the other partner does not hold any vales at all especially when it comes to the values on morality.
  • The goal differences- conflict will arise if the partners in a relationship do not hold common goals in life. This is because if they have different goals then each one of them will be pursuing their personal goals for their own gain thus ignoring the goals of the other spouse.
  • lack of cooperation- conflicts in relationships can further by caused by lack of cooperation between he spouses this is because if the spouses do not cooperate with each other then thy cannot work in unity and for the common cause of both of them . Similarly if the spouses fail to cooperate on various issues then there can arise a lot of mistrust on each other since for a relationship to succeed both parties have to work in unison.
  • Differences regarding authority- in relationships if there are any differences in authority then there will be conflict. Conflict could also be a way of controlling a lover other than facing the everyday fears that may be based on us being controlled.
  • Differences regarding responsibility- if the people in a romantic relationship have differences regarding the responsibilities then conflict will most often occur. This is because if the responsibilities have not been mutually agreed on then one party will fail to de a certain duty or task assuming that the other party will do it.
  • Competition over resources- conflict in relationships can also be caused by competition over resources such that if there is competition between the spouses in relation to the resources where one of the parties wants or has more resources than the other then there will be conflict.
  • money matters- this is the most critical cause of conflict in relationships
  • Non-compliance with the rules- conflicts will arise

Conflict may also be a way to control our lover rather than face everyday fears that we may have about being controlled. As a couple we may often experience different beliefs, whether spiritual, socially, morally, physically, etc. Learning how to resolve the differences is an imperative part of a relationship. (Gray 1992)

Dealing with conflicts

Conflict in a relationship can be quite hurtful and dramatic to one or both partners. Judging the other person by their emotions during conflict as this leaves the other person feeling as though you are insensitive in regards to the topic at hand. However there are various ways of dealing with conflicts in relationships and they include:
Yielding to the conflicting issue
Avoiding the conflict.
Taking a compromising stand on the conflict.
Collaborating.
Competing.
Dealing with it by dismissing issues with the other person can be disrespectful leaving more hurt and may result in non resolution. We tend to criticize the other person when we feel that we are being attacked. Similarly as difficult as it may be the people in relationships need to find a very constructive manner in which to air their grievances as well as provide a very honest relationship between them.
By avoiding the conflicts and disagreements and also burying the issues it does not in any way create a healthy relationship. Thus it is very important to accept the fact that you will get on each others nerves and disagree from time to time but you should also learn how to argue in a manner which is constructive. This could help resolve issues on conflict other than tearing each other apart personally

Verbalizing in a different manner

During conflicts in relationships we should verbalize in a different manner so that we can make it possible for the other party to hear what we are saying and we can also hear what we they are saying to us. By changing the way in which we verbalize we also aid in problem solving and we also offer positive alternatives to the disrespectful, knee-jerk or hurtful behavior and communication and we also build trust between each other. By using hurtful words to be honest is simply cruel and will not result in a resolution to minor or major conflict. (Carter 1993)
We can however learn to reword the way in which we say something so as not to offend the other person and keep the communication among two people open. It is important for both individuals to know which communication skills to use so that they can effectively aid in conflict resolution.

In romantic relationships there is an interactive relationship that exists between the partners and within this relationship bond each of the partners is capable of understanding the nonverbal cues of the other person. This makes it easy for both partners to tune in to the feelings of the other person.

It is important to note that during a conflict in a relationship we should not use hurtful words to each other but rather we should have the capacity to remain relaxed and focused in both tense and intense situations. People who are in relationships should also have the ability to read the non-verbal cues since the most important information in relationships is conveyed in the non-verbal; form.

Finding a resolution

Resolution can be defined as both parties compromising to reach a solution and it is not one of the party’s in the relationship having his way and the other party caving in to the manipulation or even feeling defeated. It is important for couples to understand that conflict in a relationship is a common part of being human. (Hickey 1994, 1997) We have to learn to resolve conflict in a way that couples are at peace with one another and the issues at hand have been solved. There are various ways that can be employed in resolving the conflicts and they include:

Agree to reach a resolution

It is very important for both parties to agree to reach a resolution Most of the people in relationships take the flight or fight approach to conflict so as to make their point clear to the other partner. The people who are in relationships are on the same side of the same team but they however fail to remember this when they are in a heated argument or conflict

Cooling off

By the parties in the relationship cooling off they get ample time to explore their feelings and look at the issues that are causing the conflicts as well as why they are upset if in any case they are. By exploring their feelings they are able to survey their reactions to the event and see if they were responding to the present situation or if they were relieving a hurtful event that occurred in the past.
They will also be able to see if the issue of conflict was really about them or someone else from the past. It is also very important to know that conflicts in relationships cannot be solved in the face of very hot emotions and thus it is advisable that that both parties take a step back, breathe deeply and then gain some emotional distance from each other before trying to sort things out. By staying cool the parties will have an opportunity to choose their responses other than just react.

Telling the other party what is bothering you

It is important to then tell the other party in the relationship what is bothering you after identifying what you want thus it is recommended for people in conflict to speak up. It is also important that one see what both of them can work out for a resolution that is mutually satisfying.
It is also important to note that your partner would not give you what you want if you do not have any courage to ask for what you want. Similarly it is also good to remember that you are in love with each other and all the relationships are further driven by feelings.
It is also good to keep in mind that as you express your desires you want to feel good as well as your partner and you both have the same wish for each other. You can also tell your partner what is bothering you by using messages as a tool of expressing how you feel without feeling or even attacking.
When conveying such messages it is also important to highly avoid guilt trips, put downs negative body language or even sarcasm. Both parties should also come from a place inside that is willing to compromise and which is non-combative. Both parties also need to realize that it is not them against each other but it’s them against the conflict issue.

Restating what you heard the other person saying

This is a very key step for both parties since it involves reflective listening which demonstrates that we care enough to hear what the other person is saying other than mainly focus on our own point of view.
Taking responsibility
In most of the conflicts in relationships both parties have an extent of responsibility but they both tend to blame each other rather than look into the role which they play in the problem. When each of the partners in the relationship take their responsibility in the conflict the conflict is entirely shifted to a different gear the one where resolution is possible.
Brainstorm on the solutions and come up with one that satisfies both parties
The resolving of conflicts in relationships needs to be a very creative act since there are many solutions to a single conflicting situation. But the key to resolving the conflicts is the willingness to further seek compromises.
The couple should then be willing to back up their requests and also desires with a solution that is satisfactory to both of them. Sometimes the parties tend to say no to new ways of doing things simply because they have not thought of any other alternative. Both parties should therefore back up their statements with good arguments which are reasonable.
While choosing a mutual action the party should understand that by resolving the conflict it means that they should take up on more responsibilities simply because it is easier than the arguments. Both parties should also understand that is a form of a joint effort as well as a partnership and if only one individual in the relationship taking responsibility for making the union work then resentment will build up on every level of this relationship. (Goleman 1997)

Both parties in a relationship should avoid the trap of laziness and they should work out fair resolutions to the conflicts which arise. One person in the relationship is however not assigned to do all the work whereas the relationship revolves around the other person’s desires and whims. It is also important for the both partners not to worry even if the solution at first does not work because many at times what seems doable theoretically in reality it is flawed.

Affirm forgive or even thank

In closure to the resolution of conflicts in relationships a hug, a kind word or even a handshake could be very significant and forgiveness could be the highest form of closure in the conflict issue. When both partners forgive each other they both are spared of the dismal corrosion of their wounded pride and also their bitterness.

Therefore for both parties forgiveness would mean the freedom to once again be at peace inside their hearts and also be comfortable and glad with each others presence. By just saying thank you at the end of a conflict in a relationship you are acknowledging the other person for working things out and this sends a message of gratitude and conciliation.

Similarly it is very important to note that we preserve our relationships by affirming, forgiving and saying thank you since this further strengthens our connections with each other and it also helps us to work through the conflicts which could arise. It is also very crucial that time be availed for two people to talk in private as this would be the beginning of a great process to understanding one another.

Conflict resolution in relationships is very important because of the following factors.
The conflicts and disagreements in relationships challenge those who are in it since they can occur in any intimate relationship. Therefore two people cannot always have the same needs expectations as well as opinions and this makes a relationship without any challenges to stop growing and become predictable and it could even be boring. (Townsend 2004)

Conflicts further help in preserving relationships while helping them grow thereby making the individuals to be able to resolve and confront conflicts swiftly without resorting to criticism, punishments, defensiveness as well as contempt.

Conclusion

Conflicts can endanger the relationships if they are not handled well but if they are on the hand handled well they can provide opportunities for growth and ultimately strengthen the bond between two people. Since most of the conflicts in relationships are inevitable it is important for people to learn to deal with them rather than avoid them. It is also very crucial to recognize and manage well the conflicts in relationships so as to nurture the relationships with those whom we are in love with.

Being honest is based on sincerity and truthfulness. Being honest with a loved one’s both issues which are large and small creates a mutual trust, using kind words with a soft tone can make for a meaningful relationship. Understanding that it’s human to have conflict in a romantic relationship is meaningful. Learning how to resolve the conflict in order to create peace and harmony results in a happy, loving, and honest relationship

Reference:

  • Carter, L. (1993): The anger workbook. Nashville, TN. Thomas Nelson Inc
  • Gray, J. (1992): Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. New York, NY,HarperCollins
  • Goleman, D (1997): Healing emotions. Boston, MA, Shambhala Publications
  • Hickey, E. (1994, 1997): Healing Hearts. Seattle, WA. Gold Leaf Press
  • Wood, J (2007): Interpersonal Communication. Belmont, CA, Thomson Wadsworth.
  • Townsend, J, MD (2004): Who's pushing your buttons? Brentwood, TN. Integrity Publishers

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