Constructive Conflict in Relationships: 6 Practices That Build Connections in Your Marriage by Sheryl Gould
Conflict in relationships can be a good thing if we approach it in ways that are constructive. Here are six practices to try that can help couples grow during disagreements:
- Approach conflict constructively. When we are angry, our first reaction may be to attack our spouse with blame. Learn to walk away, cool down and gain perspective.
- Be curious about your anger. Anger is a secondary emotion covering up more vulnerable feelings. Underneath we may be feeling hurt or sad. Understanding that allows us to better express ourselves.
- Share your feelings using “I” statements. When we use “I” statements to share our feelings, we are less likely to criticize and put our spouse on the defensive.
- Figure out what you want and ask for it directly. Tell them what you want without placing blame on them for not knowing.
- Take the risk and do it for you. Sharing our emotions, gaining clarity about our desires and asking for it – it’s all part of sharing who we are.
- Pay attention to your thoughts and be inquisitive. Challenge thoughts and validate them to determine if anger is warranted.
Embrace conflict as an opportunity to grow, understand ourselves and build deeper connections.