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Every individual goes through life by making or entering into various types of relationships. However, inspite of being in relationships, not everyone has mastered the art of healthy relationships. Most people do go through problematic relationships. The reasons for it are that they are unaware of how to handle and nurture a good relationship.

Handling conflicts – what needs to be done

People are different and hence there will always be conflicts. There are always disagreements which arise due to different environments the persons are raised in, their nature, their experiences as well as their mental state. If one is able to handle disagreements one is able to sail through relationships.

Here are a few points to handle conflicts.

  1. Understanding of each other’s background : People need to understand the background and how conflicts were managed in the other person’s family. There are families that communicated and resolved conflicts and so the children grew in expressing themselves in times of conflict. However, if the families did not communicate or resolve their differences, the children learnt to bottle up their feelings unless there it became too much and then there would be an outburst.
  2. Timing : There is a timing to resolve conflicts. It is not necessary that conflicts need to be settled immediately as partners in the relationship would need time to cool off before they could be able to understand or agree to the other person’s point of view. During the cooling off period it is important not to say hurtful stuff to the partner as that hurts the relationship and the wound remains long after the conflict has been resolved.
  3. Establishing an atmosphere of support : The differences of each person needs to be accepted. Each person needs to accept and understand the way the partner cares and expresses their love and try not to confine them to ways and means in which the other person wants it to be expressed.
  4. Distinguish between things that are wants and those that are needs : There is a difference between needs and wants. This needs to be understood. A partner can probably satisfy all the needs of their partner however all their wants may never be satisfied.
  5. Clarify your message : Messages need to be clear. The partner needs to be explicit and not be vague. All vague terms may not be understood. However, if one is clear about what one wants and express it properly, the other person would know and comply.
  6. Discuss one thing at a time : At times of disagreements it is necessary to work out only the issue at hand without bringing up old grievances or concerns. These would only prolong and increase the argument and hurt feelings.
  7. Really listen : One needs to really listen to their partner to understand what is it the partner is trying to say. One needs to listen without barriers to communication like interrupting or focusing on what the response should be rather than focusing on what is being said.