You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” ~Jon Kabat-Zinn
Instead of seeing conflict as a threat to a relationship, what if we reframed this and saw conflict as an opportunity and a sign of growth in a relationship?
яємємвєя иσт тσ ѕωєαт тнє ѕмαℓℓ ѕтυff
Instead of making every little molehill a mountain, agree to not make something a battle unless it’s truly important. Realize that not every disagreement needs to be an argument. Of course, this doesn’t mean you bow to someone else’s demands when it’s something you feel strongly about, but take the time to question the level of importance of the matter at hand.
If you find yourself in the midst of a conflict, try to remember that the other person is coming into the situation with a totally different background and set of experiences than yourself. You have not been in this person’s shoes, and while it may help to try to put yourself in them, your partner is the only person who can really explain where he or she is coming from.
Granted, it’s hard to remember this in the heat of the moment. But, stopping to take a few deep breaths, and deciding to take a break and revisit the discussion when tensions are not as high can sometimes be the best way to deal with the immediate situation.
ℓσωєя уσυя єχρє¢тαтισиѕ
This is not to say you should have low expectations but it is to say that you should keep in mind you may have different expectations. The best way to clarify this is to ask what another’s expectations are in a scenario. Again, don’t automatically assume that you come into the situation with the same expectations.
But what if you are in the heat of a conflict and you don’t seem to be doing anything other than polarizing each other?
яємємвєя уσυ вσтн ∂єѕιяє нαямσиу
Most likely, you both want to get back on track and have a peaceful relationship. Also remember the feeling of connectedness that you want to feel. It’s hard to feel threatened by someone when you see yourselves as interconnected and working towards the same result.
Resist the urge to be contrary just for that reason. Remember that it’s better to be happy than right!
α¢¢єρт тнє σтнєя ρєяѕσиѕ яєѕρσиѕє
Once you have shared your feelings as to what a person’s actions meant to you, accept their responses. If they tell you the intended meaning of their action was not as you received it, take that as face value.
ℓєανє ιт ιи тнє ραѕт!
Once you’ve both had the opportunity to share your side, mutually agree to let it go. Best case scenario, your discussion will end in a mutually satisfactory way. If it doesn’t, you may choose to revisit it later. When making this decision, ask yourself how important it is to you. If you make the decision to leave it in the past, do your best to do that, rather than bringing it up again in future conflicts.
Conflict can be distressing. If you see it as an opportunity for growth, it can help you become closer and deepen your relationship.
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