Conflict in a relationship is both normal and painful. In working with couples I have found that it’s the successful resolution of the conflict that strengthens the couple’s bond and brings them closer together. The resolution comes only by walking through the conflict and not around it.
For the majority of the population, getting into conflict is either frightening or frustrating — or both. And, like many things that scare us, we try to avoid it in the future. Here’s the simple truth: if you want the problem or conflict to go away, you have to work to find a solution. That means facing your fears, your apprehensions, and the other person and working through the conflict.
Although similar to the “take it or leave it” ultimatum, it is more understated and less discernible to the uninitiated. Regrettably, it has become a familiar negotiation tactic by some attorneys in mediations. The purpose of this article is to both expose this ploy and discuss certain strategies and techniques that can be used to either prevent it altogether or minimize its consequences.
Teaching kids to deal with conflict effectively and peacefully is perhaps the biggest challenge facing adults today. Children’s disagreements both at home and at school can be noisy, physical and psychologically hurtful. The approach to conflict resolution learned and practised in childhood often stays for life.
Most people don’t want to cause upset by confronting people. But putting up with bad treatment actually harms relationships. Bottling things up causes pressure and leaves you open to the risk of exploding. Confrontation may not be pleasant but it is sometimes necessary. It’s time to start standing up for yourself.
One of the most difficult yet important aspects of negotiations is to learn to detect inconsistencies or lies in other people’s accounts of the conflict. It’s difficult because most of us come from a place of relatively good will toward others, even in a competitive negotiation session… But not all of us.