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7 ways to handle conflict healthily and happily

Avoiding the blame game

7 ways to handle conflict healthily and happily.

No one enjoys arguments with their loved ones. And of course, no one enjoys being the person

to start a conversation that may lead to conflict. Whichever position you’re in, it can be a difficult

space to be.

Life can sometimes implicate difficult conversations needing to be had. It might be a situation

where you need to raise concerns about your relationship. Or it could be one where you’re letting

the other person know they have upset you or crossed a boundary.

Ultimately, you need to broach a problem but you want to do it in a way that is healthy and leaves your relationship feeling stronger.

Hang in there!

1) Prepare yourself emotionally

Figure out what is the issue and how you feel about it. Dig deep into why this is a problem for you. It will be easier to communicate when you are more aware of what caused the conflict as a whole. Find a space that is relaxed, quiet, and neutral for you to order your thoughts and decide what it is you want to say. Make sure you feel comfortable with what you’re saying before you share it. Taking the time to do so could prevent a wide variety of misunderstandings, as well as further unnecessary discomfort for you both. You can do this by starting your conversation with letting them know you’re there to listen to them, and that if they need to ask questions at any time then they can. THEN ACTUALLY LISTEN. Ask questions when you don't understand or want an example. Remember you are a team. Your relationship vs the problem. Not you vs them.

2) Create an environment where you can both be heard.

It’s really important that the person you’re broaching a difficult subject with is able to feel heard. Even if they can’t find the right words immediately to respond, the fact that you have assured them they have space and

respect is vital. If you or your partner are prone to raising your voice when you get emotional - I would suggest a restaurant, go have dinner - somewhere neutral. Studies have found that people are more likely to have a more productive conversation when discussing emotional issues in public. If either of you is likely to cry and don't feel comfortable doing that in a restaurant or cafe. Grab a cuppa and walk around a park or shopping centre together, the movement has been shown to decrease stress and increase how open you are with each other and you can nip out of sight if you need a moment.

                                                                                      3) Create a mindful time slot.

Finding a space of time as well as a space for the other person to be heard is key. 

Bringing up a difficult topic isn’t ideal when you’re both about to head out to work, or when you’re in the middle of preparing the kid’s lunchboxes. 

Instead, dedicate a time when you know you won’t be interrupted by work, social commitments or familial obligations. 

Giving time to the conversation signals respect for the other person, and sets the scene for

important consideration also. 

This can be hard if the other person is stressed or upset ( due to mental health/work/family) and 

you don't want to pile on - but your emotions and needs are also important, so chose your moment as best you can. 

It will be easier to support them if you are in a good place too.

4) Give them a warning. 

No one likes being ambushed. Bringing up a difficult conversation isn’t a

time for surprises. Gently give the person a head’s up that there’s a problem and that you

need to talk. Provide time and a place for the conversation to happen, but don’t let the

person draw you into talking about what it’s all about. Save the tricky stuff for when you have

the conversation itself. Disengage from further provocation, and repeat the fact you want to

speak properly at the time you have requested. Stick to your guns for both your sakes.

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5) Share physical reassurance.

 From a young age, we were soothed by being held. As we grow, we begin to take steps independently, steadied by a loved one. 

As adults, our need for a helping hand remains. 

We need the warmth of another person to let us know we’re safe, particularly in moments of instability. 

Before you broach potential conflict, take a moment to signal to your loved one that you’re there for them. 

A simple hug or hand on their back as you

walk together could work wonders and could boost their self-esteem at an important time.

6) Allow time out when you need it - or when they do! 

No matter how careful we are in handling another person’s feelings, we can become defensive, which can cause us to do and say things we don’t mean. Take a short break from the situation for a breather when each of you

needs to. As anyone worth their salt will tell you, these calming moments will make all

the difference to how you respond, and they can help to make things more manageable


The fact you are currently wandering the internet in search of an answer to this quandary

demonstrates that you are mindful of how the other person’s feels. You’re already on the road

to being able to support the one you love during what might be an emotionally challenging

exchange between you.

There is no advice in the world that can make conflict with a loved one enjoyable. But by putting

into practice the methods shared in this article, you are vastly improving your chances of the

discussion going as well as it can.

We are all human, we all hurt. We also all have the ability to overcome. Truth isn’t always

comfortable. But without it, we risk a lack of integrity in our relationships.

Take a deep breath, and communicate with courage. You’re as ready as you’ll ever be, I promise.