Conflict is an inevitable stressor in any relationship.
And although tackling issues head-on with your partner can be uncomfortable, research shows that it's usually the best course of action. Over time, it can lead to honest conversations that benefit your relationship in the long run.
If you're looking for a few ways to repair conflict in your relationship, here are a few guidelines to make finding a resolution more sincere and less stressful.
Get in touch with your feelings
An essential part of conflict resolution involves you acknowledging how you feel and why you feel that way. While it may seem that your feelings should already be evident to you, this isn't always the case. Sometimes you feel angry or bitter but don't necessarily know why. Other times, you may feel that the other person isn't doing what they 'should be,' but you aren't aware of precisely what you want from them, or if it's even reasonable. Writing things down or journaling can be an effective way to get in touch with your feelings, thoughts, and expectations, so you can better communicate them to the other person.
Practice active listening
When it comes to effective conflict resolution, the way we listen is just as important as how we express ourselves. It's crucial to understand your partner's perspective, rather than just your own, if you plan on coming to a resolution. Supporting the other person to feel heard and understood can sometimes go a long way toward resolving a conflict. Good listening also helps you to be able to bridge the gap between the two of you, understand where the disconnect lies, etc.
Experiencing conflict in your relationship is inevitable. According to relationship expert John Gottman, couples who avoid it are at risk of developing a close relationship. Stop keeping score and focus on repairing disputes. Avoid getting defensive and showing contempt for your partner (rolling your eyes, ridicule, name-calling, sarcasm, etc.).