Conflict is an inevitable factor in any relationship. I have come to that conclusion by watching those around me and from my own experiences. It doesn’t matter the sort of relationship: husband and wife; parents and children; pupil and teacher; siblings; friends…you name it. To overcome conflict, we need to face it head on. Some folks are more into avoidance, but that is tantamount to bottling a storm.
There are certain things to take into consideration when in a quarrel with someone you love:
- Listen. Let the other person speak and really listen to what they’re saying.
- Acknowledge the other person’s hurt.
- Don’t call names;
- Don’t use abusive language;
- Don’t walk out. As much as possible, stay and see the fight to an amicable conclusion. Try not to prolong it.
- Never use something told to you in confidence;
- Do not refer to a past fight which has already been settled. Don’t dig up old dirt!
- Take responsibility for your feelings and your actions. Instead of saying ‘you made me angry’ or ‘you hurt me’, say ‘I was angry because of ….’ or ‘I felt hurt by …..’.
- Do not forget that it takes two to tango – therefore admit to yourself that you are partly responsible for the fight.
- Have enough courage to apologise.