4 tips to healthy conflict management
2019-02-13

Vendor: REACH Counselling  

4 tips to healthy conflict management

Conflicts are part and parcel of life and relationships. Regardless of how compatible both of you are, it does not exempt you from facing or experiencing conflicts. Conflicts are a tricky thing; depending on how both of you go about approaching and reacting to it, it can strengthen or weaken your relationship.

While most of you know that it’s crucial for conflicts to be solved, how you go about resolving these conflicts is the key to making or breaking your relationship. Here are four ways to resolve a conflict healthily.

Set boundaries

During conflicts, emotions are set free and are harder to control. However, this does not give either of you an excuse to lash out, curse or behave in any way that leaves your partner feeling uncomfortable.

Boundaries should be set in the early days of your relationship or your marriage. This way, both of you will know where the line is drawn and will take the conscious effort not to over-step it but to maintain respect for each other despite the negative emotions.

Deduce and focus on the source

Remember, your spouse is not your enemy during conflicts. Help each other see that you are not fighting against each other, but rather, fighting with regards to the problem at hand. Instead of spewing words at each other, come together to determine the source of the issue and focus on that instead of the actions of your partner.

For example, if you are upset with your partner for not preparing dinner despite an agreement beforehand, the issue at hand is not the lack of dinner. Instead, look deeper and assess why your spouse wasn’t able to do it. Did he or she forget? Did he or she have to work overtime, leaving no time to do so? Whatever the reason that resulted in the lack of dinner, focus on that instead and offer a solution instead of blaming and accusing.

Compromise 

Compromise is nothing new to couples, and it is essential for working through conflicts in a healthy manner. As with most things, compromising is easier said than done, especially when emotions are involved in the mix. You may feel that your needs and wants take precedence over those of your partner’s.

In such situations, take a step back, pause and try to think it through from both sides. If possible, propose a compromise or come to a solution that both of you can be pleased with.

Set time aside to understand and resolve 

Not all conflicts can be solved immediately once it’s being addressed. You should keep this in mind and be prepared to set aside time and be committed to resolving the problem at hand. For certain couples, taking time to resolve the issues is beneficial as the time can be used to look past the emotions involved and coming to a rational solution.

However, this time and space may cause negative emotions to fester. In such situations, it is recommended to consult the services of a professional. The professional will guide you through your emotions, allow both of you to reach an understanding and hopefully, teach you how to handle conflicts.

REACH Counselling Service aims to build enduring marriages through marital counselling and marital work, including Marriage Preparation Programmes. For more information, contact REACH Counselling Service at 6801 0730 or at counselling@reach.org.sg.

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Block 307 Shunfu Road, #01-137 Singapore 570307
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