Building Relationships: Avoiding Conflict

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Do you find yourself avoiding conflicts? Charlie Simpson with the Arkansas Relationship Counseling Center is here to help you avoid sweeping problems under the rug.

Is sweeping problems under the rug that bad?

Sweeping problems under the rug typically does not start off that bad but ends horribly. When you are in the honeymoon phase you may experience conflicts but because you are having so much fun, it’s easier to sweep those conflicts under the rug and be ok. As the Relationship manifests, conflicts may become a little more frequent and we really start sweeping issues under the rug. Next thing you know, you look at the rug and it’s a mountain of mess. Then a major conflict happens and not only do you talk about that conflict but you begin pulling conflicts from under the rug. Other people may allow the conflicts to overcome them and continue to shut down emotionally which is very dangerous for the relationship.

Is there anything a couple can do to manage the issues under the rug?

There are two things a couple must do to manage conflicts. The first is maintain a strong friendship. It’s hard to argue when you are having fun just like being in the honeymoon phase. You have to deliberately and purposely find time for the relationship in order to keep the friendship strong. Planning date nights without the kids is important to keep the emotional connection.

What is the second tip to managing conflicts?

Thesecond tip is to improve conflict management. Listening, is one of the best ways to manage conflicts. The biggest tip is to learn to validate by simply saying “I’m hearing you say…” then restate what your partner said. Often times during conflicts we don’t argue about the topic, but argue to be heard. So it’s important to validate your partner’s perspective to avoid sweeping those issues under the rug.

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