How to Handle Conflicts in Relationship
*credits to google.com and Calvin and Hobbes' creator.
No matter you are or you are not (or already not) in a relationship, that does not mean you should not give a care about how to handle conflicts in relationship. If you’re single, you will face conflicts when you are in a relationship, either engaged or married. If you are, already in a relationship, right now, I bet you probably have dealt with countless of conflicts. Be it over where or what to eat to even serious conflict that threatens your relationship. The art of saving a relationship is how you deal wisely with conflict(s).
Conflicts are inevitable. It is unavoidable. You don’t have to be in a relationship to have a conflict. You can also have conflict with yourself. Conflict is a problem, rather a state of uncertainties. You are undecided of what you want or what you really want and what you actually need. For example, you are having a conflict either to bathe or not when waking up to freezing tap water in the morning. Or you are considering what to eat when the money you have right now is needed for house rent and you can’t afford to ask for more from your parents when it will be the third time asking. See? That’s internal conflict; conflict within yourself. Also, you could also be having conflict with others, particularly with your partner, be it your girlfriend/boyfriend or fiancé or husband/wife. Say you wanted to dine in at KLMNOP Restaurant but he/she does not think so because he/she feels like having western food that day. Or both of you disagree on your wedding theme where one party wants a fantasy wedding but the other wishes a Bollywood-themed wedding (just for example). This is what we call external conflict. Both types of conflict create tension. That is why external conflict is a bit dangerous because it usually causes arguments and fights. Those unwanted circumstances are what you want to avoid.
When there’s a conflict, there’s an impact. At least, an impact. And the impact is definitely on your relationship. Small conflict can lead to serious damage to your relationship. So you have to deal with it carefully. As I was saying, conflicts are likely to cause tension. When you are disagreeing over a mall to go shopping, let say, then you debate or rather quarrel. After that, one or both get carried away and bring up irrelevant issues which trigger another’s anger. Then, both of you start yelling (or probably cursing). The next thing you know, you could end up being mad at each other for as how long as your ego stands. This kind of scenario should be avoided. In fact, it can be avoided. The more serious impact is mostly people break up over what was (initially) small thing. That is so sad, so not worth it. That’s why you need to handle conflicts wisely. It is very important when you are particularly in a relationship.
So, how to handle conflicts? As far as conflicts are inevitable, it is solvable. Mind that. There are plenty of ways to handle conflicts. Of course you can Google it (but I did not, really). But can you Google the tips when you are in the middle of a conflict? Of course you won’t or you don’t even think of doing it. So, numero uno, when conflict breaks out between you and your partner, one has to remain quiet. Let one party talks or yell or babble. Sometimes, remain silent is an effective way to be calm. By being calm, you can think wisely and respond only what is necessary. Well I know you just can’t stay quiet, can you? Especially when you get yelled at. But trust me, give it a try. Keep calm and let one party bursts. It will help, hopefully.
Number two, try to be the ice when the other is as flaming as fire. What I mean is, stay cool when the other is boiling. Act as cool as you like. But just don’t be annoying. Take note, acting cool and acting cold is different. Turning cold means you don’t care. It hates even more. So, listen and care what the other is mad at. Calm him/her by making a joke (do not care if your joke sucks. The suckier the joke, the more likely it will make your partner laugh or at least smile), or even give him/her a surprise kiss (only applies to legal couples). Again, this is also not easy. But why not give it a shot. It doesn’t cost a sweat.
Next, number three, when conflicts happen between both of you, try not to quarrel with emotions. Arguing with emotions usually heats up the tension. Mostly, women tend to make judgment with emotions. That’s normal. It is not a sexist remark, okay. However, do your best to argue objectively. Let me explain how. Let say both of you are having a conflict of which type of house to move in after your marriage where one prefers an apartment and another wants a terrace house. No matter how hard you explain the pros and cons, and line out the winning points, the other still debate about her preference just because she likes her choice, just because she is emotionally attached to her choice. That’s an example of emotion-related argument. In simple words, deal it with brain not emotion.
Also, at number four, forget the conflict as soon as possible and act as normal, like before. The art of putting a stop to a conflict is not to prolong it. What happened should remain what happened. Get back to your usual mood quickly. Don’t drag the conflict for hours or days or weeks or even months. It is bad for your relationship. What’s worse is when you bring up previous conflict when the current one still needs a breather. That is so incorrect. Forget and move on. But, learn not to repeat the mistakes which lead to the conflict. Do you get me so far? If you don’t, reread this particular passage, at least three times. And think. You’ll get it.
At number five, a very important one is, never ever like ever curse or use foul words when you’re in the middle of a conflict. First, you cannot curse your loved one. Yes, things maybe out of your control but as long as your mind is conscious, avoid using foul words. Second, cursing shows that you’re a pathetic lover. Be a gentleman/be a respectable lady and argue what is necessary. Third, it does not help instead it worsens what is already worse. You don’t want to drag the conflict for too long. Therefore, avoid making it even worse. Fourth, no one likes to hear foul words and to be cursed. That includes you. Fifth, because I forbid! Enough said.
At number six, consult another reliable party if your conflict seems to reach a dead end. Serious conflict sometimes cannot be solved especially when both parties avoid each other or simply too egocentric. Or sometimes, a dragged conflict has gone too far to be handled by both of you. Therefore, you need a third person who can be trusted to help. You can meet your parents and ask for their opinions. Most likely they know how to help. Or you can opt for professional person like counselor for that matter. It is the most efficient solution. The only thing needed is your will. Both of you should be ready to bring the conflict to the counselor. You don’t need to wait for it to be serious to meet counselor. This solution is best for married couples who always deal with conflicts. It is for the good of their long lasting marriage.
Lastly, at number seven, just say sorry. No matter it is your fault or not, just say sorry. Ask for an apology honestly. The most honest and humble you can be. Sorry does not cost any cent. Sorry makes sense. By saying sorry, heart could melt. By saying sorry, anger disappears. By saying sorry, everything can turn to normal. Do not wait to ask for an apology. Do not wait until you’ll be sorry. By that time, your relationship may already end.
Like I said, you can’t avoid conflicts much like you can’t avoid falling in love. When it happens, it just happens. The way you handle it shows how wise and matured you are. Conflicts are not supposed to be an excuse for ending a relationship. The truth is it is a lame excuse to simply end a relationship just because you fail to deal with the conflict. There are plenty of ways to successfully deal with it. You just have to think and act in correct manners. Or you can practice what I have preached above. All in all, we are all not perfect. We quarrel, we make mistakes, we get angry and we are emotional. But the most important quality a person should have is, forgiving.