Conflict is an inevitable part of relationships, and yet, we will sometimes do anything we can to avoid it. This is particularly true for those we love most and are closest to. However, conflict with those you love can bring you closer together and greater intimacy in the relationship, especially if both people are willing to work through it. The first step in addressing conflict in relationships is to acknowledge that it is an unavoidable part of your relationship and the only to way to deal with it is to work through it.
Another important step in working through conflict with loved ones is to identify your specific conflict style as this is often a major barrier to communicating and resolving the conflict. Below are four conflict styles that can hurt your relationship and make it difficult to move forward.
Your response to conflict is…
- Critical and you target your anger towards your loved one
- Mean-spirited and you purposely hurtful towards your loved one
- Defensive which indicates to your loved one that their concerns and feelings don’t matter
- To check out and completely shut down or go silent on your loved one
Recognizing if you display any of these conflict styles is the key to changing how to respond to and handle conflict with loved ones. Our therapists are also here to help you navigate difficult moments and conversations with loved ones. Click here to see our therapists profiles and to schedule an appointment with them today!