Healthy relationships aren’t conflict free; they are conflict resolving. The problem is we fight for victories instead of fighting for solutions. The result is one wins, one loses and the relationship suffers. Here are some pratical insights for fighting so that the relationship wins:
1)Differences are inevitable, normal and potentially beneficial. They are inevitable because relationships bring together very different people. They are normal because all relationships including great ones experience them. They are potentially beneficial, because handled effectively, relationships grow through them.
2)Here are three conflicting handling styles:
a)The avoid style: These are the don’t want to rock the boat and let the sleeping dogs lie people. They fear confrontation, so they bury their feelings, not realizing they are buried alive and will rise again down the road. They go from clam-up, to build up, inviting physical and emotional illness. Meanwhile offences accumulate, unaddressed issues multiply, and unfinished business erodes the relationship.
b)The attack style: These are the get them before they get you people; ruthless fighters who refuse to give in, they inflict terminal wounds on each other. If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. Attack begets counter-attack, both sides dig in and nothing get resolved.
c)The approach-assert style: These are the no price is too high for a good relationship people. They are sensitive to the feelings of others, yet insist on dealing directly with important issues. They avoid blaming,confronting the issues, not the individual, and invite others to partner with them in solving the problem, saving the relationship.