For those who take their participation in relationships seriously, you don't have to have a masters in psychology but having a firmer command of the psychology of how the mind works when involved with others can make the difference of successful interactions with family, friends and professional associates or living a life of unresolved conflicts with those around them.
This article attempts to point out five conflict management styles and how to best approach those who exhibit a particular response type come the next interpersonal confrontation.
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Styles of Conflict Management in Relationships
Avoiding: We all tend to do a bit of this, however, within the psychology of conflict management, Avoiders tend to need time and space to figure things out. When dealing with someone identified with the tendency to avoid conflict, give them space, but provide the knowledge that the issues need to be dealt with at a future, predetermined date and time. This allows for those with this style to have plenty of time to get in the proper frame of mind.
Harmonizing: Harmonizers tend to be very concerned with the overall welfare of the relationship and will sacrifice their own peace of mind for the welfare of the union between the parties involved. Typically not assertive, the harmonizer may use phrases like, "Whatever you say is fine with me as long as you are happy."
It is the little things that tend to matter in the discourse of these conflicts. Positive, meaningful gestures, notes of kindness, etc. will go a long way towards creating the type of environment a harmonizer needs to be in when resolving relationship conflicts.
Directing: Individuals with Type A personalities often tend to be of the directing conflict stylists in their relationships. Relatively assertive and less interested in the relationship than the resolution of the faction between participants is likely to have a director focused on working things out, their way, of course.
When dealing with this style, if one does not consider themselves as a director as well, asking for time and space to reflect on current affairs is acceptable. As long as the agreement to come back together for discussion at the agreed upon time is upheld, most directors can deal with delays without the need to fix things in their own way and in their own time.
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Compromising: The laid back option for conflict style or Middle of the road. Most compromising individuals have desires to get what they want, but are willing to give if the other party demonstrates a similar willingness to give as well. The overriding thought process among these types of individuals is that no one gets everything they want, so compromising ones desires is perfectly acceptable in order to resolve the contention.
Cooperating: Though assertive, cooperators tend to also be very concerned with the status of the relationship and approach conflict resolution from this frame of mind. These individuals have no problem stating how they would like to resolve issues, but are caring enough to the other parties to ask for their input and desires in making things better.