Our homes are often described as a safe haven; where we go to relax and be ourselves. However, when we get really comfortable with our surroundings, conflict can emerge.
It’s nothing new that conflict is a part of marriage. Two people with flaws living together will encounter conflict over time, but there is a healthy way to manage your own actions in the midst of conflict at home.
The art of listening is a very important tool when resolving and managing conflict at home. Make it a point to focus on the words that your partner is saying. After listening to your partner, repeat back to them what you heard. You can say something like, “It sounds like you are frustrated because I’m not helping with…”
Making a habit of repeating what the other person is saying will help you to focus on their words, and it will give you a chance to clarify what they said.
#2 Take responsibility for your feelings
Allow yourself to feel and then own your feelings. If you are upset, angry, sad, it is important to express your feelings in an appropriate way. Use words like “I am angry…” rather than “You make me angry because…”
#3 Find the real issue
Partners get into arguments and conflict over the same seemingly mundane things. “You left the clothes in the laundry too long again, you keep making plans without talking to me, the dishes have been in the sink for 2 days,” etc. These daily arguments are sometimes the expression of a deeper conflict. Take time to address the conflicts or themes in the conflicts that are consistently causing problems. Work towards addressing those deeper issues.
#4 Be willing to compromise
You will not be able to get exactly what you want all the time in marriage (or any other relationship). Find a way to work with your partner to work towards meeting the most important needs you each have. Compromise is about accepting each person’s needs and working towards a solution to solve a problem.
#5 Allow yourself time to cool off
In the heat of an argument or conflict, you are likely going to say things you regret and cause an even deeper conflict. During the cooling off period, try to think through your emotions, determine the core of the problem, and define what needs you have that should be met when you decide to have a conversation about the conflict.
#6 Focus on a solution
Focusing on the solution is the best way to walk through any conflict whether in marriage or at work. When you focus on the solution you are validating that there are legitimate needs from each side that need to be met. You are eliminating the winner/loser “I’m right”/”you’re wrong” scenarios that hurt one partner. Your goal is to find a win/win solution for both of you.
How do you address conflict management at home?