Save Your Relationship

Conflict Resolution 101 - Solving Relationship Conflicts

You are going to have conflict with your romantic partner, there is no question about that. When two people are involved in an intense relationship, there will be conflicts.

Herein are some ideas on "Conflict Resolution 101" as taught in the University of Life on how to handle heated moments in your relationship.

A conflict is described technically as "an expressed struggle between two interdependent parties who perceive incompatible goals, scarce resources and interference from third parties in achieving their goals."

Simply put, this is when two connected people don't agree on some course of action or other aspect of their relationship.

One of the solutions offered in Conflict Resolution 101, the TRIP goals of the people involved in the dispute. This information is gleaned from Interpersonal Conflict, by W. W. Wilmot and J. L. Hocker.

* Topic or Content Goals - What do we want? This is the move towards understand the other party's side of the conflict.

* Relationship Goals - Who are we to each other? This involves the perception on how each party will treat the other.

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* Identity or Face-Saving Goals - Who am I in this interaction? If a parties identity is attacked they assume a defensive position and this increases the conflict.

* Progress Goals - What communication process will be used? Determine how the conflict will be resolved.

It seems nice to reduce a conflict to a series of initials couched in technical jargon. A more simplified Conflict Resolution 101 offering is the use of five simple steps.

* Acknowledge the conflict - Admit that you have a relationship problem. Half of the solution is to own up to the problem.

 * Select where you will discuss the situation with your partner. Pick a time and place that is good for you and have the understanding that you are seeking a solution to the disagreement.

* Admit your role in the conflict - by taking responsibility for your actions you are indicating your fairness in dealing with the conflict. Put yourself in the other's shoes, too. See their side.

* Offer solutions - focus on the future, not fixing the past. Be diplomatic and don't dictate terms or conditions. Engage your partner to offer their suggestions.

* Stay Positive throughout the conversation - Keep calm and restrained. Keep your voice down and learn how to disagree with your partner without flaring up. Show gratitude for the meeting. End the conversation with a hug and a kiss.

Personal conflicts often involve power plays and miscommunications. The problem is not about either of your angers, but about the causes of the anger. Examine the situation and identify the problem and expose it in a non-accusatory manner.

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Instead of discussing the conflict when you are both emotional, schedule a later time to iron out the matter. Allow a couple of hours for the discussion.

Resist your instincts to push too hard for a resolution, but resolve to talk the matter out fully before closing the meeting.

Be sure to comment favorably on any positive contributions your partner makes. This can set the scene for an apology.

You don't have to agree fully to resolve the issue. Just agree on the major points and resolve to change what you can so it doesn't happen in the future.

You may want to document what you agree upon. Recording the meeting or taking notes will only fix the resolution in both of your minds.

This is not a contract or agreement to hold the other's feet to the fire. It is just making sure that you both remember you had a conflict and resolved it in an intelligent manner.

I hope this information is of help to you in resolving any personal conflicts.

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