Dealing with conflicts

6 Nov


Ok recently, I was besieged by a friend who was in turmoil with his relationship. I can’t say I had THE solution to his problem because I really don’t. So, all I could do was be a good listener and dispense with some good general advice. In relationships, something really small and simple can be misconstrued into something really huge and complicated. With Internet, smartphones, Facebook and all manner of social media sites, it makes it easier for people to get into a relationships and also to quickly exit and find another. That’s one of the main reasons why it has become  a challenge these days for people to stay in a relationship. Some of the social norms of fidelity and lifelong relationships and marriages are fast becoming a relic of a bygone era.

Ok, enough of the sociology lesson here. I think that if someone wants to make a relationship work, it has got to come from both parties and its not about what the other party does for you but what you do for the other. Too many relationship conflicts revolves around nitpicking on what the other party did and what we did for the other party and its not reciprocated or something like that. Yes? I am sure that there are many psychic raising of hands there. Expectations runs high especially when we think we have done a lot for our partner and we perceive that its not reciprocated.

Most of the time, relationships fail here because of high expectations and we simply demand our partners to reciprocate according to the way we want them to. I guess its time to step back and reassess the situation. At times, we are reacting out of emotions that was brought in from external factors like work pressure, family or perhaps just raising kids. Whatever it is, it’s always good to step back and reassess the situation and if we find that we have said some things that we shouldn’t have, never feel its too embarrassing or difficult to say sorry or make amends. Some people like to sweep it under the carpet but that’s never a good thing because we will end up making our partners feel like our punching bag every time we do that.

The other thing is that when the conflict has reached a stalemate, it is never a good thing to sleep over it and let the conflict simmer. In most cases when it simmers overnight, it will only get uglier and even more difficult to resolve. There can be nothing in a relationship that cannot be resolved within a day or at least amicably agreed to be discussed later. And the worse thing to do is to remain quiet or be distant with our partners. Some people are prone to punishing their partners by engaging in a silent ‘cold war’ with their partners to punish them for something they did wrong. Doing that just alienates our partners even more and deepens whatever conflict we are in. It would be more effective if we verbalize whatever the problem is and get somewhere with it even if we risk exposing ourselves and that we may appear vulnerable because of it.

Conflicts is normal in any intimate relationships and the secret of how to engage conflicts successfully is to be reasonable and try to keep our emotions in check when we talk even if it makes us vulnerable. If we deal with it the right way, conflicts can be resolved and we might even deepen our relationship with our loved one. This is possible if we are honest, forthright and willing to ‘give and take’.

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