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How to resolve conflict without fighting

I want to share with you something that my wife and I learned a couple of years ago when we started dating.

The first few months were magical. You know, no fights, nothing. But all of a sudden, as with any other relationship, we started fighting more. And we noticed something about the way we fought that had since then changed the way we communicate with each other.

So what we found is that we were always deflecting things that we were saying to each other. So she would bring up something that bothered her and I would say, well, but you also did this other thing, or what about that other time when you did the same thing?

And we found each other playing ping pong, you know, throwing things back and forth. And we realized that we’re never really addressing anything. We just fought for days at times, you know, and nothing ever got resolved.

So what we realized is that we had to address every single issue, you know, and not deflect back on each other.

She would say something that bothered her, and I made it a point to really listen to what she had to say, to try to put myself in her shoes, understand why she felt the way she did and then address that.

And if something else bothered me, then, you know, I’d bring it up. And we would talk about that. But we took care of the first issue first, and then the second issue.

We took it one issue at a time because there’s always something that we can find in the other person that they did wrong, you know, but that doesn’t negate that the other person is concerned or feeling sad about something we did.

I think it’s very important to tackle every issue and not to find reasons for why what we did was right. We can never justify our actions by saying that other people did it too.