Conflict resolution in relationships

There is an old adage stating that when cups are put in a box, they must clink against each other. Whenever two human beings live or work together, they will inevitably have differences in their points of view, preferences, attitudes, understanding and so on; irrespective of their relationship with each other.

Conflicts and disagreements simply put, are divergence in points of view; A sign of rich variety of feelings, personal differences, approaches, diversity and diagnosis. Therefore, conflicts are not necessarily negative but rather, quite the opposite. A friend once stated,”If one didn’t care they would not engage in expressing their feelings…” Conflict does not necessarily indicate a failing or failed relationship.

However, it is important to note that disagreements need to be attended to as they arise because avoiding them builds up major rifts, and eventually leading to relationship breakdowns. So what causes conflicts?

  • One of the main causes is poor or lack of communication between a couple, colleagues, family members or friends. When the channel of communication is broken or poorly used, the sender and receiver are both on different planes of understanding. This is the beginning of using assumptions to fill in the blank spaces, which in most cases in quite ineffective and inaccurate. It is very important for individuals to make constant deliberate effort to relay their messages as clearly as possible, on regular basis, in order to overcome this challenge.

  • Cynicism and sarcastic talk: These two elements generate so much negativity that it undermines trust and respect. a relationship without trust and respect is like honey without it’s sweetness or salt without it’s saltiness. The hurt that emanates from cynic and sarcastic comments hurt like a puss-filled wound!! It burns and makes one restless. Worse still, scars from such hurt might take a lifetime to disappear. To avoid being the poison ivy in the relationship; deal with your own past hurts and injuries first. Avoid transferring past poison into the current situation or challenges, however similar the events are. Do not pass blanket judgement based on past hurtful experiences. Listen to your own words before they leave your mouth; If they make your heart ache, they will make another’s heart bleed.

  • Illogical, unrealistic demands: A relationship built on false expectations is doomed right from the beginning. It is crucial to share your personal expectations to your partner, friend, or child at the earliest possible opportunity. This sets boundaries and patterns for the relationship. If both of you are incompatible, it will be clear early in the relationship. If this was not done early in the relationship, then compromises will have to be reached by both parties, for both to grow together.

It is crucial to note that no two relationships are identical, neither are the challenges they face. Therefore, it is important for individuals to strive for a long lasting healthy and positive relationship by being proactive rather than reactive.

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