Resolving conflict within a relationship requires the ability to articulate where we are emotionally without attacking, blaming, or accusing the other party.

Once blame and guilt step into the picture, the conversation would get skewed because one or both of the parties would enter into self-defence mode and communication would shut down.

As much as it hurts we must be mindful of the right of the other person to feel as they do and not be on the same page with us. We can only express our desire for certain understandings without belabouring the matter unnecessarily.

Emotional outbursts are symptoms of unexpressed and unarticulated resentment and frustration and as long as these are not put on the table, there would be no opportunity for the issues to be addressed fairly and honestly.

It goes without saying that there must be a mutual willingness of both parties to work matters out. Unnecessary walk outs or passive aggressive avoidance of the other “to teach the other a lesson” will only serve to aggravate matters.

The truth can hurt but how it is stated need not be brutal and how it is handled need not be cruel. The issues are painful as it is and need not be intensified by petty or vicious personal attacks or sarcastic comments.

Compromise would be necessary for both parties. The conflict will not be resolved if one person simply gets their way and the other submits. Authoritarian handling of the matters by the more dominant personality will only undermine the long term viability of the agreement or resolution.

If we merely wanted to have our own way with everything and have no flexibility with what we want to achieve within the context of the relationship then we should question ourselves as to whether we might be better off without the relationship.

Being in a relationship entails the consideration of the other into the equation and a pragmatic consideration of their personality, strengths, and limitations.

We must learn to work within the limitations of the relationship without limiting the potential of the relationship since mutual growth is an ideal goal of conflict resolution.

In the course of growth pains and working through difficult issues, it is hoped that both people find within themselves to stretch their boundaries and be able to accommodate the other lovingly and respectfully into each other’s lives.

(c) Niconica 2012

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