In the same way that an intense workout improves fitness, or a bone break strengthens the bone, or a disease enhances the immune system, or intense heat produces a diamond, or an iron grating against the edge of a knife sharpens the knife, so a relational conflict can actually bring forth fruit, making you better, your relationship better and your connection stronger!
In any relationship where there are two people with varying upbringings, opinions, individual brains, feelings and experiences, there will eventually be a clash of ideas. In fact in a healthy relationship there should be a clash at some point, because you should be two freethinking individuals, able to freely voice your thoughts, feelings and ideas! How they are voiced and processed however, is important. Your contradicting opinions and ideas will either make or break the relationship. Your goal is to be better together on the other side of conflict!
Here are 8 tips to communicate better in conflict:
1. Make understanding each other your ultimate goal, not proving your point.
2. Your thoughts, feelings and needs are valuable and so are theirs.
3. Do not participate in disrespectful conversation. Stop the conversation and set boundaries. Continue when respect is restored.
4. It’s your job to explain what is going on inside of you. The other person isn’t a mind reader. Don’t expect them to know what you are feeling unless you have communicated it to them.
5. Communicate your feelings using ‘I messages’. Use clear and specific statements about how you are feeling, rather than using ‘YOU never!’, or ‘YOU always’, language.
6. When they communicate their needs, it is your job to listen well.
7. Commit to protecting the connection.
8. It’s your job to manage your heart post-conflict.
‘So may the words of my mouth, my meditation-thoughts,
and every movement of my heart be always pure and pleasing, acceptable before your eyes, my only Redeemer, my Protector-God’, Psalm 19:14.
A daily devotion for a better way of living.