Understanding constructive conflict is one of the most important things you will ever learn as a couple. The first part of this is understanding your natural effective conflict style and also understanding your partners natural style. Here’s the dirty little secret, your natural styles might be different. You must also find out what their natural style is. For example they may think it’s most effective to talk quietly when resolving conflict and that works best for them. On the other hand, you might be a little more more animated an express your self openly. If this is the case then you’re probably shuting down your partner without even knowing. And then you make the colossal mistake of thinking that you won the argument and you were right.
So here’s reality, they felt shutdown, not heard, flooded and then they go inside their head and tell themselves a story about what a terrible person you are raising your voice like that. If this happens over and over again they end up in the little circuit that I call, Put up, Shut up, Blowup.
They’ll tolerate that for a while (put up) and not saying anything for a while longer (shut up) but sooner or later, is predictable as the sunrise, the wheels will come off the bus one day and they’ll start talking about something you did along time ago that seems completely unrelated. That’s when conflict gets stupid. Now you’re worried about who’s right instead of what is right. At that point you will become so disconnected from common sense and anything constructive that you will need to play a whole bunch of a relational gymnastics just to get back to a level playing field where you can have a reasonable conversation. You don’t need to let this happen. We can help.
Understanding this natural conflict style is the first in three steps to learning how to manage conflict effectively. You have to know your natural style and your partners natural style and the differences if you want to use conflict constructively in your relationship. We all want to have a relationship success but we’re really not very good at it. Check out stop guessing: for couples. Customized conversation starters from your advanced behavioral assessment will fast-forward your relationship and stop wasting so much time on unproductive conflict period