Steps to Obtain Conflict Resolution By Means of True Communication

The hardest part of any relationship is communication.  When couples see eye to eye or are planning something together often it is easy to convey thoughts but the moment disagreements come into play things change.  In order to effectively communicate we must understand the different aspects to communicating.


  1. In order to communicate all parties involved must be willing to speak and listen.  Conversation is not obtained by a one sided opinion.  If only one side of an issue is presented or heard there cannot be discussion or resolution.  Often, when this occurs, an individual will become defensive and feel they are being attacked.
  2. It helps to set grounds rules.  While one person is speaking the other remains quiet.  In return, the same holds true for each individual. 
  3.  A good way of listening is to use reflective techniques.  When responding to an opinion, first repeat (or reflect) what the other person has just said.  By doing this simple technique you are showing the other individual that you have, in fact, heard them.  
  4. Communication must be done in a neutral environment where all parties feel free to speak as they truly feel.  Many times a public place offers the security needed.  The reason for this is the fact that people tend to be less aggressive when in a public setting.
  5. Remember the desire for communication may be different than the outcome.  The goal is almost always to sway someone into agreeing with your viewpoint.  But you have to realize sometimes the outcome is merely individuals stating how they feel while working towards a compromise. 

Now that you know some aspects to communication it is time to determine when you should utilize these aspects and when it is best to "walk away".  If you merely find yourself disagreeing on an issue then it is recommended that you discuss and hopefully find resolution or compromise.  However, if there is too much hurt or anger involved there may require a "cool down" period prior to communicating.  When emotions that are too strong are involved people will say things they do not mean and say things intentionally to hurt the other person.  Resolution and/or compromise cannot happen in these situations.  Here is a plan on how to handle situations both when they arise and more importantly before they do.

  1. Talk with your spouse before a situation arises.  Remember people act and react better if they have a plan or structure.  Relationships are no different.
  2. Determine, together, a place where future disagreements can be addressed.  Whether it is a park, a restaurant, or maybe a leisurely drive.  It doesn't matter where it is, only that you agree on it in advance before the need arises.
  3. Most importantly discuss the fact that it may be best to "cool down" if a topic brings up too much emotion.  Before the situation ever arises discuss the acceptance of a "cool down".  Make sure each person knows if one or both need a period of silence before a discussion then it will be granted.

Relationships are hard at times.  There are financial obligations, raising children, careers and many other factors that play a role.  Often, by the time a couple sits down to talk they are already stressed from many other things.  As long as you remember what communication is and the need for a "plan" if a conflict arises then it will make it easier to find either joint resolution or compromise.   

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