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Managing conflict is a necessary part of every personal and professional relationship. Conflicts can range from a small disagreement at work to the larger problem of infidelity in a marriage. According to Lynette J. Hoy, NCC, LCPC, “ Conflict can result in either problem-solving and resolution, or an all-out war! Conflictual scenarios can prevent collaboration and cause relationship breakdown unless you have the skills to manage it.”
Conflict management in relationships is difficult because emotions play such a large part in the problem. Follow these guidelines to achieve the best resolution to any relationship problem.
- Take the time to consider all the responses and real issues at hand. Try not to let the problem escalate into something bigger than it really is. Couples have a tendency to bring other petty grievances into a discussion when they don't really have anything to do with the problem at hand.
- Don't feel pressured to resolve the conflict on the spot. Be patient and listen to each other.
- Don't let misunderstandings filter into the problem. Be clear and concise about the issue. Repeat back to the partner what you understand they are saying to you. If you have misunderstood, the partner can make it clearer.
- If you were hurt by a situation, explain your viewpoint and ask that things be different in the future.
- Be open and honest regarding the situation. Get your cards out on the table immediately.