Friday, March 6, 2009

Conflict in Relationships

This, I will admit, is my weak point. I love to please the person that I'm with and have avoided confrontations. Sometimes this is okay. There is a certain wisdom to picking your battles. Sometimes, it's not, but I'd like to think that over the past handful of years, I've gotten much better at communicating and conquering that fear of "conflict".

I didn't live in a house with a lot of conflict. Watching my brother and my mom debate practically became a sport in my house over the years. My dad and I, the "quiet ones", would just look at each other and roll our eyes. My parents had that usual "backseat driver" bicker session but it rarely turned into more than that. In fact, even when we hit financial rock bottom, I don't think I ever saw my parents in a knock-down-drag-out fight over anything.

So in my relationships, I like to keep the peace as much as possible. Who wouldn't rather enjoy their relationship and thier partner rather than fight with them anyway? That doesn't mean all conflict and (or should) be avoided. But it does mean that I try to keep unneccessary conflict at a minimum.

Now, all that said, I didn't have much experience fighting. My ex and I had rules about "fighting fair" that I still believe are good and healthy to this day. They included things like: No name calling, No foul language, No yelling, No interupting, No voilent behavior. In other words, our rules for fighting made us sit down and talk about the conflict. Usually, this quelled things without them getting out of control. (Yes, we are ex's, but fighting wasn't the reason we didn't work out.)

Friends who have known me most of my life know that one thing has stood true. I won't put my foot down about something without good reason and the stubbornness to back it up. Boundaries are necessary for all beings. Even Biblically speaking, boundaries and accountability have been part of the world since day one.

So how do you overcome those conflicts?

I found a great article on it, and one thing stems through the whole article - communicate carefully.

I think we've all done the "passive agressive", "revenge", and "silent treatment" strategies. None of these really increase communication or solve the problem. In fact, they curtail the very thing necessary to come to an agreement (or agreeing to disagree) and resolving the conflict.

No comments:

Post a Comment