December 4th, 2018
“Conflicts are opportunities for you and your partner to align on values and outcomes. They are chances to understand, appreciate, and embrace differences.” - Tony Robbins
Conflict. It’s a term we are all familiar with but do we really understand the depths, the consequences, and even the benefits of dealing with a conflict? It seems obvious that when we define the word conflict, we assume it is the disagreement or differing opinions that can cause a rift between two parties. Oftentimes, the reasoning behind a conflict can be a build-up of issues and emotions, which can lead to passive-aggressiveness due to a lack of communication that is released at one time. Other times, a conflict may come up suddenly due to an acute scenario that can spark a dramatic reaction. Either way, conflict is universal and we all cross paths with it. Thus, it is important to find healthy ways of managing our emotions to promote a positive outcome.
It is one thing to have a conflict in the workplace, among friends, or with extended family, because at the end of the day you can disconnect and come home to a space that is your own, away from the drama and emotions. However, it is another thing to have a conflict in your relationship with your partner; especially if you live together. Much of this struggle has to do with the fact that at the end of the day, you must come home to the stress and anxiety of being in your home with someone you are not seeing eye to eye with. Although this is unfortunate and uncomfortable, it is quite common.
Arguments and long-standing conflicts tend to get a bad rap. Especially if a couple tends to argue frequently. Some of the reasons why conflicts can receive a negative reputation within relationships include, but are not limited to, the following:
On a brighter note, conflict can have a positive effect on relationships and even on personal growth. “In fact, an online study, ‘Able Arguers’, among 976 individuals in 2012 found that couples who engage in healthy conflict are 10 times more likely to have a happy relationship versus those who ignore difficult conversations”, according to David Maxfield and Joseph Grenny who conducted the online study (bustle.com). Some of the positives that may come from conflict resolution in a relationship include, but are not limited to, the following:
If conflicts are ignored, it can lead to long-lasting problems which can build up over time and may ultimately end in the termination of a relationship. If children are involved, this can be especially challenging for everyone involved. Hence, it is essential to be able to resolve conflicts in order to overcome the issues, strengthen the relationship, and grow both as a couple and an individual. Resources:
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