We all experience conflict in our relationships.
Whether it’s a recurring argument over something you and your partner just can’t agree on, or random distancing because of slight annoyances that pop out of nowhere, conflict is a natural part of any relationship.
The only question is: how fast will we move past these hurdles? Will we let them control us?
Or, will we have the awareness and know-how to turn these hurdles into opportunities for greater love and connection.
Why is this so worthwhile investing effort in?
Because the benefits of having harmony in your relationship are huge!
Research has shown that happy relationships help relieve harmful levels of stress, which can adversely affect coronary arteries, gut function, insulin regulation, and the immune system.
The #1 Tool to Making Things Work
A skill that is a must have in any relationship is Conscious Listening
How you listen to your partner will have a profound influence on the way you take them in, appreciate them and relate to them. Your listening habits as a couple will determine whether you find yourself bonding, or arguing.
When we feel that someone is really listening to us, it helps diffuse a lot of the negative emotion and frustration that builds up in our life, and could otherwise bottle up and create havoc in our relationship.
Conscious listening is not just about hearing what your partner has to say, but wanting to feel them, to really know them deeply.
It’s moving your self-focus towards your partner little by little, to perceive more of how they see reality.
As they speak to you, you need to “make room”, by putting yourself aside, and taking them in without judgment.
It’s also about taking the time to mutually learn who our partner is, to talk about what we need from each other, and how to help each other be our best selves.
This is so important because it’s only when we communicate and want to fulfill each other’s needs, that we can connect and feel satisfied in our relationship!
Tool #2: How to Be Smart, Even When You’re Right?
The second tool is all about dealing with conflict in the moment.
Even when you have dedicated time and effort to listen to your partner, get to know them better, and deeply connect to them, conflicts are bound to come up.
Relationships are dynamic and we can be triggered by a myriad of events, behaviors or even something that is said in a way that defies our expectations.
How we react to these triggering events is crucial.
If you can manage to delay your automatic response of judging, criticizing and blaming, you will solve 99% of your relationship problems!
Delaying the response doesn’t mean you avoid the issues that need to be confronted, it simply means that you raise them in a manner that is effective and does not start a fight.
Avoiding the immediate urge to lash out or criticize makes room for you to later approach your partner calmly and tell them how you felt, and how you chose to not make a scene about it (because you love them! Yes, say it!).
This approach will make room for a much more accepting, open conversation.
Conscious listening, as well as resisting your automatic responses are two tools that put together, can completely transform your relationships.
Remember to have compassion for yourself!
Relationships take work, and practice makes perfect. With willingness from both sides to change, you will find that you both go through the most amazing transformation as a couple and as individuals.