7 Ways To Deal With Conflict (Without Murdering Your Spouse)

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We all have conflict in life, and here are 7 ways that can make our life easier to deal with it!

Conflict is inevitable in relationships. It already starts when we're young and have to share our toys. The older we get the more complicated the conflicts seems to become, this is due to our personal coping mechanism we develop over the years regarding fights. We also subconsciously mimic our parents and other adults in their coping skills.

The closer a person is, the more challenging it is to stay objective in an argument. It is often the reason why couples fight. We also tend to use the same coping mechanism and therefore, it becomes difficult to come to a solution.

We use a few tricks to cope with conflict: avoiding issues, dismissing it, being closed off, acting like a martyr or victim, attacking or being confrontational, and anger.

Conflicts will always be part of our lives, but we have a choice on how we deal with them.

Maybe one day we can see them as growing tools instead of an evil curse. The moment we learn how to deal with what is clashing with us is the moment we embrace personal growth. Here are some defusing techniques you can use:

1. Take time out/step away.


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In the heat of an argument, we say or do things that we later regret. By taking time out you give yourself and the other time to think before you speak. However, don't forget to come back to the issue later. This can be in an hour or in days, as long as you do.

2. Find common ground.

Start with where you can agree on and go from there. Talk about one issue at a time and don't drag the whole past in it.

3. Know your own coping mechanism.

Change the world, starting with yourself. It's especially important when faced with conflict. We can't change somebody else, only ourselves. So, know your starting point.

4. Find the underlying hurt.


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When we react, we get triggered. Find out what made you react and deal with your personal hurt first don't take it out on the other because it is your interpretation.

5. Don't assume that you know where the other comes from.

Assumptions are a killer in relationships, let alone in conflict. It shuts the door in creating a dialogue and curiosity.  

6. Be curious, ask questions.

The moment we ask open-ended question (starting with what, when, and how), we take away assumptions and accusations. Now the other gets the chance to respond instead of defend.

7. Always focus on the love you feel towards to person you have a conflict with.

We always want to be right. Maybe you are both right, from the perspective you are in. Ask yourself is this issue worth fighting over? 

Remember we need two to have a disagreement, we can't fight by ourselves. Own your part of the conflict, because we can only control what we think, say and do. What are you going to do next time in a conflict?

Want to argue about the statements above? Contact Ellen Nyland.

This article was originally published at Ellen Nyland. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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