Conflict is a natural part of all relationships, the way we navigate such challenging situations to get to a point of resolution greatly influences the state and longevity of our connections. Learning how to handle conflict is not an easy feat, no matter the background, yet, there are still some effective strategies that can be exercised in every day-to-day interaction to help us achieve a healthy resolution.

By learning and internalizing constructive approaches to conflict, we can foster empathy, strengthen our relationships, and create a harmonious environment for personal and relational growth.

Recognize the Importance of Constructive Conflict

Conflict, when managed well, can give people insight, promote active communication, and strengthen relationships. It is crucial to shift our perspective on conflict from being a negative experience to an opportunity for positive change; embracing conflict presents a chance for learning different perspectives and growing as an individual, just by approaching disagreements with an open mind.

Foster Effective Communication

Open and honest communication is the foundation of resolving conflicts. Ensuring that every party has an opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings is crucial to get a healthy resolution. Active listening is just as important as active communication and must be dealt with empathy and goodwill; validating each other’s perspectives and feelings is a key part of cultivating safe discussion spaces.

Seek Common Ground

During conflicts, identifying areas of agreement, shared values, or common objectives are the key to nursing a space of understanding and collaboration. Conflict in a relationship is a multi-party affair that ought to be looked at as a collaborative solving process over a common problem, closer to brainstorming for a common goal than having a competition on who has the correct answer.

By focusing on shared interests you can work together towards a mutually beneficial resolution of shared ownership and commitment to resolving the conflict rather than getting caught up in a win-lose mentality.

Practice Emotional Regulation

It is not uncommon for emotions to run high during conflicts, in fact, it is an absolutely human reaction for such instances, all the same, unhinged emotions can hinder productive communication; trying to maintain a calm and rational mindset is the healthful path for all related parties.

Simple things like taking breaks when needed, practicing breathing exercises, or making time to practice stress-reducing activities, like gardening, meditation, or exercise, can help you manage intense emotions during difficult situations.

Seek Professional Help

Seeking professional help is beneficial to resolve constant, complex, or deeply rooted conflicts. A specialized, neutral, third party, such as a marriage and family therapist, can provide guidance, facilitate communication, and offer valuable insights towards healing relationships. Professional assistance can help navigate conflicts that seem unbeatable and provide the necessary tools for a healthy resolution. 

The most important thing to remember is that managing conflicts for the betterment of your relationship requires effort, patience, and a willingness to prioritize the well-being of what you have created as a team over the individual desires of the players.