Conflict Resolution Techniques for Couples

These top 10 conflict resolution techniques will help all couples. Many people mistakenly believe that conflict resolution for couples is reserved for those who fight all the time. In reality, happy couples are generally the ones that have mastered the skills of conflict negotiation and focus on the needs and feelings of their partner rather than try to win every argument at all costs.

Pick the right time and place.
To engage in meaningful conflict resolution techniques, you can't be distracted by other things - kids, phone, commute or even fatigue. Set aside time to really talk without interruption.

Never attack.
Using negative words, name calling, labeling or even cursing sets the other person on the defensive and effectively shuts down communication. Create an atmosphere of respect that allows each person to open up.

Demonstrate respect.
Decide before you even start to talk that you will respect the other person's thoughts, feelings and opinions. Going into a conflict negotiation determined that you are right and everyone else is automatically wrong isn't going to allow the discussion to get very far.

Instead of getting the last word in, interrupting and twisting words around, just sit and listen to what the other person is trying to say. You can't focus on your partner's needs when your mind is too busy coming up with what to say next.

Acknowledge your role.
Rarely is one person entirely to blame for a conflict. By owning up to your contributions to the issue, you'll be humbled and it will also encourage the other person to take ownership of their part as well.

Stick to the topic.
It's tempting to bring up a laundry list of past grievances and wrongs. However, in effective conflict resolution techniques, just stick to the immediate topic. Identify the problem so you are on the same page and avoid wandering off-topic.

Make a wish.
Identify how you would like the problem solved. By sharing what you each envision as the perfect conflict resolution technique, you can open up the path it will take to negotiate something that everyone is happy with. Don't expect to get exactly what you want, but stating how your version of resolution would go at least shows the other person where you're coming from.

Outline contributions.
When you both agree on a solution to the problem, outline in detail what the expectations are for each person. Whether this means listing what behavior changes will be made or stating a switch in a thought process, be clear about the roles from this point forward.

Evaluate progress.
At some point in the future, the topic will need to be revisited to evaluate how well the solution or resolution is working. Make adjustments as needed and praise any progress made in your partner.

Leave it in the past.
When a conflict has been resolved, let it go. Never use it as more ammunition in a future conflict and don't keep a tally of the other person's faults and shortcomings. When something gets resolved, leave it alone and rejoice that you and your mate can effectively communicate to strengthen your relationship.

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