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how to resolve conflicts in relationships

5+ healthy tips on how to resolve conflicts in relationships

We don’t live in an ideal world, with perfect people and situations. Sometimes we feel peaceful, in the chaos. Other times, even when there’s a peaceful environment, we don’t feel inner peace. In certain situations too, we don’t experience any of these. Some offences cut deep, others are mere scratches.

The best way to deal with these uncertain situations is to be conscious of them, admit they exist and look them in the eye; not covering them up, burying the pain and hurt, otherwise you create a cycle. Hurt people hurt others; it’s the easiest avenue to vent out all the pain and frustration. It’s a way of justifying that you did not deserve that, yet it does not solve anything. That’s why we need to discuss how to resolve conflicts in relationships; romantic relationships,  family relationships, relationships with friends and relationships at our workplaces.

I am of the firm belief that experiences mould us, be it positive or negative and as such, dismissing unresolved issues only suppresses them. It just piles up like stacks of hay in a barn, or a time bomb waiting to explode. My oh my, what a sight that creates when it does explode!

On the other hand, saying what you feel like, without considering the situation at hand or the feelings of others is also not the best. For instance, how to refuse an offer or invitation without coming across as being rude or feeling guilty.

What causes conflicts in romantic relationships? (in no particular order)

  • Insensitivity

  • Past hurts

  • Intolerance and refusal to forgive

  • Immaturity

  • Too much involvement of third parties

  • Lies

  • Lack of compromise and the list goes on

  • Improper training or poor upbringing

The tendency of you acting in a certain way consciously or unconsciously is what you learnt or saw being practised growing up. Sometimes, even when you become conscious of it, either you don’t know how to act otherwise or it’s difficult sailing against the wind so you give up. Some people even accept that that’s how they are or how it’s meant to be.

 

Effects of arguments in relationships

  • Lack of trust
  • Difficulty to forgive, becoming bitter and ultimately breeding sicknesses. Read Also: How bitterness affects your health.
  • A generational cycle of war. Something seemingly insignificant that happened between two people could escalate into members of the same or different families being sworn enemies, tribal/civil wars and wars between nations (like the Russia and Ukraine conflict).
  • Abuse: physical, emotional and verbal
  • Hurting other people and so on

Points to remember on how to resolve conflicts in relationships:

“Mastery is conscious: It demands all of a person” – Robin Sharma

 

Everything you do in your outer world is as a result of what’s happening within you- Emmanuella Obeng-Koranteng

 

“Your influence in the world mirrors the glory, nobility, vitality and luminosity you’ve accessed in yourself” – Robin Sharma

 

“Unexpressed emotions never die. They are buried alive and come forth later in uglier ways” – Sigmund Freud

 

“Don’t let the pain of an imperfect past hinder the glory of your fabulous future” – Robin Sharma

 

“The way you perceive the world is the way you act in it” – Robin Sharma

You may not have had control over what happened in your childhood, but that doesn’t define you. You now have the responsibility to change it. It’s up to you; it’s no one else’s fault now. Set yourself free, do it now!

You know what, just go and read “The 5 am Club by Robin Sharma”

These tips have nothing to do with Toxic people or Narcissists.

Let’s discuss 7 few tips on how to consciously resolve arguments in love relationships, family relationships, friendships and relationships at the workplace.

How to resolve conflicts in marriage

What is healthy conflict in relationship? This is it.

1. Hold on, don’t react immediately.

Postpone it, if possible, save the date. Lol. Just kidding. Reacting immediately is sure to use up all the rage we feel on the inside, where bullets are manufactured. Hurtful words cannot be taken back even if you apologize later. The wounds may heal, leaving a scar and then trying to forgive and forget may become a struggle. Later on, when tempers are low, you’re able to discuss the issue with reason or you realize how trivial it was and forget about it. In some situations, the offender’s conscience may not rest until it is resolved, that is if they even have one.

2. Identify the root cause of the argument.

Problems don’t solve themselves, people do; we either resolve to let it go or ignore it. Darling, it won’t go away if you don’t attack the root cause, but keep solving the symptoms. One day it may be too much for you to handle, something might trigger it and then you could end up taking drastic measures you’ll regret later, including murder.

3. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.

Naturally, men and women think differently. We were brought up differently; what may be problematic to your partner may be trivial to you. So, COMMUNICATE! Over the years, I’ve come to understand that a critical part of communication is understanding, otherwise, there’s no point.

Know what you want, like and are willing to accept about your partner and vice versa. If something upsets you, speak up; they don’t have mind-reading abilities. If you’re unable to share your opinions freely, that’s a red flag, baby! Also, be sensitive to your partner’s actions and inactions; ask questions (not like a detective). Make it fun; you can make up a game or something. Try and solve issues between you two, instead of always involving third parties.

Read also: The five love languages by Gary Chapman. If you’re a hardcopy person, then get the hardcover book.

4. Let go of past hurts; Forgive.

Many of us know what we should do mentally, but no action follows. We haven’t forgiven the unforgiven. Choosing not to forgive them hurts you more than it does them. Why punish yourself constantly thinking and fussing over something that has already happened, when there’s a solution?

It’s like carrying a bag of tomatoes with you every day, everywhere you go. With time, it rots and produces a foul odour that eventually sticks to you. Do it for your peace of mind and health. You owe yourself that much.

If you have truly talked it out, and you’re still not satisfied, don’t bring it up again. If you must, do it creatively and wisely, probably on a good day when your partner is more receptive and open to talk.

5. Think about what you hope to achieve by the end of the day.

Do you really want to win the argument and lose the person? You’re both on the same side, I mean, you should, that’s why you’re together, right? You should move on, remembering that you’re going to be the offender someday too, very soon.

6. Go, get a life outside your partner.

Do the things you’re passionate about, be happy on your own. No one else is responsible for your happiness.

“One of the things that break relationships is people not feeling good about themselves” – Uncle Ebo Whyte.

You won’t be happy with anyone if you can’t be happy on your own. The joy and fulfilment of having a relationship with yourself is what overflows to other people.

Take time off for yourself; sometimes you need space to refuel (more often, if you’re an introvert like me) and miss each other a little. Say it, don’t just withdraw or be gone forever. This helps to reflect on internal issues so that you two enjoy each other more.

7. Be transparent. Leave no room for suspicion.

Know at what stage you should share certain things about yourself. Don’t spill it too fast, too soon, otherwise, they may not be mature enough to handle it.

8. Do nothing.

Sometimes doing nothing, I mean not reacting at all makes a lot of sense, though it sounds foolish. You really do not have to prove every point. Time would reveal who you truly are.

Some of these points may apply in general situations, so let me not repeat them.

 

How to resolve conflicts with family members

How to resolve conflicts with family members

Family is our first point of contact when we’re born and they mean a lot to us. When no one else understands us, or we make mistakes and regret them later on, our family accepts us. They’re the last people we would want to hurt, and yet we can’t completely avoid it.

How to minimize conflicts at home:

1. Learn to say “sorry”, “please” and “thank you”. Simple, huh, yet powerful.

2. Guide and support them with what they want to do, not what you want for them.

Eg. Support their music career, watch them paint, be there to cheer them on when they’re frustrated learning law or when they fail in medical school (yes, you can actually fail at doing something you love for the first time if you don’t do it right). If you cannot do any of these, don’t stand in their way.

3. Give them the opportunity to express themselves.

By doing this, you’ll know what they truly think or are likely to do in a given situation. They become confident and are able to speak up if they’re being bullied or sexually abused by others.

4. Let them decide certain things on their own sometimes. This helps them become independent and more responsible.

5. Spend time together sometimes; eat together; pray together; attend events and go on vacations. Ease up the tension in everyday routine.

6. DO NOT MAKE THE MISTAKE OF FAVORING ONE CHILD OR SIBLING OVER THE OTHER.

Avoid comparison. You don’t want your children hating on each other forever. Appreciate that everyone is different, even though you may naturally gel with a child or sibling more.

7. If they confide in you, don’t tell, not even to another family member unless they agree.

8. Never shame or publicly ridicule them.

Keep your arguments away from the public and defend each other, unless it’s abuse. In that case, don’t settle for family discussions, report them outright.

 

Solving misunderstandings with friends

Do you also block some of your friends when you’re angry with them, I do, for the time being, to have my peace of mind. Sometimes, I don’t, just to see their reaction. Friendship is a choice so if our values are not in alignment, you can most def. distance yourself and love them from afar or let them be and live your life. Of course, make peace, but get your priorities right. Not everyone is meant to be a friend.

If they’re worth keeping in the long haul:

1. It doesn’t matter who started, apologise and move on.

2. Be yourself and allow them to be themselves too. Once they know who you are, they’ll learn to accept you the way you are.

3. No matter how close you two are, they don’t have to know every single detail about you if it doesn’t have anything to do with them. Know who to discuss what with.

Eg. Your spouse’s performance in bed, your child is autistic, etc. That’ll not only make them respect your spouse but you as well

4. Be sensitive when they’re going through a difficult time and be with them.

This doesn’t mean you should put your happiness on hold for them and vice versa. If you love each other that much you should want the best for each other.

 

Conflict resolution at the workplace

How to resolve conflicts at work

Do you know you can work successfully with a colleague or boss without necessarily liking or agreeing with them? It’s nothing personal, just keeping a professional front. If you do not accept the offices’ policies then you shouldn’t be there in the first place.

Consider these 6 ways to minimize conflicts at the workplace:

1. Do not try to challenge your boss. Know your place.

2. Communicate and stay true to yourself.

Set your boundaries. We are tested when in critical solutions where a little lie could save the day or adding a few zeros could satisfy everyone, but stay true to yourself, don’t do it! Sooner or later you’ll be found out. Don’t try to be everyone’s friend and lose yourself.

In cases of sexual abuse, speak up. Work is temporary, you can easily be replaced. Your mental health is more important; trauma is not eating ice cream in the park. That’s how you get recommended.

This is also important during appraisals. Don’t cower and accept your boss’ opinion of you just yet. You may not have worked directly under him/her so you may have one or two things to prove. Go for it!

3. Be valuable, don’t just do what you’re told; be creative and innovative.

Take a short course on the side and invest in yourself. If he/she does not recognize this, others will, and they’re extra skills that other organizations will value in an individual.

4. Office gossip may seem interesting, but you’re sure to be entrapped in your words someday.

If it will not make you or the person being discussed better, why bother? If you cannot speak to them directly, mind your own business.

5. Look at the bigger picture: you want to get the job done, not create enemies.

6. Learn to work with others.

It may be easy for you to get work done, and successfully on your own, but teamwork is crucial. Does your name pop up every time there’s a misunderstanding at work? Which boss will be proud of having such an employee?

7. Take your leave, when you have to.

Stay away from the office environment and breathe, destress. Leave days are given for a reason. Productivity is low, and you make many mistakes when you’re always tired and stressed. Workaholics need to understand that there is a language called Rest because the body does.

Hopefully, these tips on how to resolve conflicts in relationships and minimize their occurrence would save us from pain in the long-term and help us mend our relationship with ourselves, and consequently others. Leave a comment and let’s engage.

 

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Written by:

A believer, freelance writer, and kingdom blogger. I believe in bringing out the best in who God has made you be.

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