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Relationships and Why I Love Healthy Conflicts

It may seem strange to you that I love conflict, yet I do. That is because I have found that healthy conflicts are the best way to have fulfilling relationships both for myself and for the couples that I see in counseling.

What I mean by conflict is when a person expresses their dissatisfaction with the way something is. It can be about behaviors and feelings or about the concrete things, like the location of a fence between neighbors.

Without conflict, we would never know how the other person felt and that their needs were being neglected or even violated. We can live with someone for years and believe that we know them and yet, until we have a conflict we would never challenge the belief that they felt as we do.

Let me give you a short story as an example.

I was travelling across the US with a friend of mine. After a couple of weeks travelling together, each time we would eat a loaf of bread he would make a point of saying “I like the ends” and eat them. I was annoyed because I kept the ends of the bread to keep the loaf from drying out. Finally, I said that I didn’t mind the ends either! He laughed mockingly and said that he had watched me for over a month and that I would eat every other piece of bread before I would eat the end pieces. So obviously I hated the ends of the bread! Him saying this gave me an opportunity to explain how I really felt about the bread drying out.

Without that conflict we could have lived together for years without understanding one another. This is a small insignificant issue but it can show us how easy it is to assume that we understand the motivations of another and that more time together would not have brought more understanding.

When people express themselves through conflict, that is the point when healthy changes can be made which can actually improve relationships, in the long run. In any long-term relationships the absence of conflict demonstrates that one or both parties are not fully asking for their needs to be met. It’s impossible to guess all of the other person’s needs and meet them, without some discussion, usually as the result of some conflict. Whether it is from fear of conflict or lack of self-esteem, many people flee conflict and live with things that they hate.

That may sound strong, but many people never speak up about what their partners or neighbors are doing and that they find ugly or even dangerous because they don’t want any conflict. Or they may be hurt and break off a friendship based on a misunderstanding that never got resolved because they avoided the conflict of speaking up.

I have lived in 5 different countries and I speak 3 languages. I have also worked with people as a Counselor or Life Coach and Therapist for over 25 years. In my experience over 80% of hurt feelings are due to misunderstandings between people. If the hurt person was to express their hurt and risk conflict about what was said or done, the other would have an opportunity to explain what was really meant! I wonder how many broken relationships could have been saved just by speaking up?

I have found that conflict is the best indicator of where to start work with relationships and individuals. The absence of healthy conflict is a sign that healing is required. There is some pain associated with speaking up. You may gasp at the words healthy and conflict being in the same breath or sentence, yet I think that healthy conflict is the sign of a healthy relationship.

So, how do I have healthy conflicts?

· It’s about being fair to all parties. Make sure both people get to have their say without criticism or interruptions. This is the hard part for some, they can’t seem to listen to the conflict without interrupting.

· It’s about bringing light to the problem so that both can see and understand one another.

· Being hard on the problem and soft on the person. The problem is the problem, not the person. Remember to describe the problem as separate from the person. They are not the problem, the behavior that they do is.

· It’s about getting help from an impartial third-party to help you resolve your conflicts that you are stuck in.

Now you know why I love conflicts and believe that we should have more not less of them. It’s not the number of conflicts that are the problem it’s the lack of skill in having healthy conflicts that causes the problems.

I hope that I can get a chance to help you with your conflicts.

Contact me if you are interested in getting solutions to issues that have been troubling you for a long time or are keeping you up at night. I provide Life Coaching, Business Coaching Counseling and Family or Business Constellations. Our clinic is Making Connections Qld, situated in Brisbane, Queensland Australia. Our web page is http://makingconnections.com.au/

Go for a breakthrough in understanding so that you can learn how to resolve your personal and relationship issues based on new insights. I’ve been working with people for over 25 years. I also work by phone and over Skype. Come see me on my website and give me a call so we can help you get peace of mind now.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Briar_A_Willard

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