What is it about couples and conflict? How can some people listen calmly when having a disagreement with their partner?
What is their secret?
When you are criticized or attacked, the first response is often to defend yourself or fight back with counter-charges. After all, how unfair does it feel to be criticized!
Responding to a complaint by getting defensive or mounting a counter-offensive, may work in the short-run. You may be able to end the conversation or diffuse the fight; however, there is usually damage to a relationship that may be difficult to repair. Couples who are unable to talk through concerns often grow apart and the distance can erode the loving feelings for each other.
Tips for Couples and Conflict
Here are some tips for you to keep your cool and listen to your partner as he or she talks about a problem or concern that they experience with you.
2. When having that “defensive talk” inside your head, (statements like: “She is being unfair” or “How can he talk like that?”) take deep breaths and remind yourself that there will definitely be time for you to talk about your ideas.
3. Masters in couples and conflict keep in mind that the relationship is more important than “winning” an argument. This does not mean that you want to let your partner run all over you, you may have to clearly stand up for yourself, but the health of the relationship will be best if you can remain calm.
4. Remind yourself and your partner, out loud, that you love her/him and that you want to find a way to work through problems. Making simple repair attempts can really help to calm things down.
5. In the event that you find you are really flooded and having a tough time remaining calm, take a time out. Let yourself calm down and think clearly about what you heard, your partner’s thoughts and feelings and what you want to make sure you eventually get across.
Using these tips can help make you an expert on couples and conflict.
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