Fair in conflict

Always remain calm– by remaining calm others will be more likely to consider your viewpoint. Hostility, loud tone, and anger will cause escalation.

Be Specific- Sometimes writing it down before addressing it can be easier to narrow down to the real issue at hand, vague complaints can be hard to work on.

Express feelings with words, not actions – Expressing how you truly feel in words can be a very powerful form of communication. If you feel your self getting angry take a “time out”. Go back to subject once calm so the issue doesn’t become flooded later or turn into resentment.

Deal with one issue at a time-Don’t introduce anything else until the topic has been fully discussed. Allow the topic to be resolved before making another complaint. Try not to get off topic and keep focus on a resolution.

Not below the belt- Attacking sensitive areas creates distrust and anger. Don’t bring of the past in order to use it against them as if in attack mode. No insults or embarrassing topics in the middle of a fight. Don’t compare the worst traits in people such as, “your just like you mother.”

Avoid attacks and accusations– You can do this using “I feel ____, when_____ , because________.” Avoid start ups with “you_____”. Don’t assume the “why”. Instead talk about how you felt and the why may just come up. “when _______ occurs, I feel ________. Its unhealthy to questions someone love, faithfulness, and intentions when your feelings have been hurt.

No Name calling and crude language – This is pretty self explanatory. Belittling and cursing are out of bounds for a caring relationship.

Don’t generalize- Don’t use words like “never” or “always”. In the heat of the moment are usually inaccurate terms.

Avoid exaggerations– This prevents from establishing a resolution. Creating events or feelings to try to prove a point only will escalate a conflict. It will negatively effect your credibility with the person. Stick with the fact and your honest feelings.

Avoid clamming up-When one person stops responding to another in the moment, it only creates more anger and frustration. It communicates rejection. Positive outcome can only happen with a two way communication.

No Stockpiling- No keeping track and storing up hurt or negative feelings over time. This is so counter productive. Its impossible to deal with a bunch of old problems and they differ over time. Just deal as they arise.

Unfair to ignore something someone else feels is important – Another form of rejection. Just because something is not important to you, doesn’t mean they are invalid. It communicates that you do not value the other person enough to address a issue. Loving people address all areas of concern even if uncomfortable or disagree.


Marriage & Friendship

Stop Trying to Fix Your Partner’s Feelings

Behind every dispute is a deep personal desire. When a partner can accept this, it becomes easier to make the decision to be empathetic instead of taking your partner’s complaints personal and defending yourself.

A lot of times feelings surface due to triggers. Its helps to truly know and understand your partner a avoid many conflicts. Do you know and understand your triggers and your partners triggers?

When we are triggered, all of our senses are intensified and we are reminded, consciously or subconsciously, of a previous life event. Our brains become wired to react to these triggers, usually surpassing logical, rational thought and going straight into a conditioned “fight-or-flight” response.

Instead of trying to fix or change the feelings of the person you love, focus on connecting with them. What makes something better is connection. Validating your partner’s perspective doesn’t require you to abandon your own. Empathy shows that you understand why they have those feelings and needs. When you listen for your partner’s feelings with your whole being, it becomes a lot easier to understand their perspective. Relate to the visual of a hurt partner being down in a dark hole, because I know when I am feeling sad or upset, I feel like I’m alone in a pit of pain.

A humans core needs are not negotiable. What do I need to feel happy, fulfilled and secure? Can you meet my needs? What do you need? Can I meet yours? Relationships as Dr. Gottman puts relationships require a solid friendship and foundation of trust. Communication and compromise are crucial.