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conflict by numbers – how to master conflict in a relationship

How to master conflict in a relationship



Often conflict in a relationship is less about an issue than it is by wanting to be right. So, in the spirit of trying to understand what’s really going on - here are a few things to consider.




1. Go to bed angry


Don’t go to bed angry? Who says? Research has shown that sometimes it’s better to go to bed and try and resolve the issue in question after a good night’s rest. You will give yourselves the opportunity to calm down, cool off and continue the discussion when you are both relaxed and ready. You may even find the fight seems trivial when its time to readdress it - which is why it may be better to head for the couch.



2. Take a break


This one is pretty important for couples who end up in heated arguments that just seem to escalate. Pressing the snooze button on an argument can be hard, but even a 30-second break can go a long way. So, whether it’s hopping into a shower, or practicing some breathing technique, taking the time to cool off can offer perspective in the heat of an argument.



3. Don’t run away from a fight


Many couples know that even the most miniscule thing can set the cat amongst the pigeons. But if you think of conflict as an opportunity for considered communication, you may not end up arguing for hours about who left the milk out of the fridge. Adult-up, lower your tone of voice, make a cup of black tea and have a reasonable discussion.



4. Take turns


As tempting as it is to tell your partner everything that has been bothering you over the past few months or even years, bulldozing them is a sure way to achieve nothing. Most successful couples know that the best way to reach a resolution is to be fair. Its been proven that couples who are gentle and better at give-and-take are happier in the long run.




The key for many successful, happy couples is to agree on the ground rules of an argument. If you are not winning with the way you are doing things now, then perhaps its time to sit down and write down what is acceptable and what is not. It may just prove how much you are actually in agreement!