Every relationship has its ups and downs. There will be plenty of times when you and your partner cannot see eye to eye. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the relationship is not going to work out. The secret to a healthy relationship is taking a break from talking if the conversation becomes heated, and coming back to it when both people are calm.
There are many different kinds of conflict that you may come across in your relationship. Today, we’re going to discuss productive conflict. While it may sound like an oxymoron, productive conflict is actually a good thing. So, what is productive conflict?
What is Productive Conflict?
If you’re in a relationship, then you already know that conflict can be unavoidable. It’s a part of the process. What it doesn’t need to be is upsetting, emotionally distressing, or manipulative. That is counterproductive. So, what exactly is productive conflict?
Well, productive conflict can be described as an open exchange of conflicting beliefs, ideas, and feelings, where both parties involved feel respected, heard, valued, and unafraid to voice their opinion. This way partners can reach a resolution comfortably and respectfully.
Why is Productive Conflict Good for Us?
Productive conflict is just that. It’s productive. It gets us somewhere. It provides us with a solution. It moves us forward. Not only this, but productive conflict is good because it encourages us to listen to others and conflicting opinions.
It also allows everyone to voice their opinions and feel heard. Finally, it can open our eyes to new thoughts, perspectives, and ideas.
What Does Productive Conflict Look Like in a Healthy Relationship?
Productive conflict is all about reaching a solution in which both parties feel valued, heard, and understood. Finger pointing, personal attacks, and blame are not part of productive conflict. They are actually destructive over time to your relationship. You will also need to avoid being dismissive of the other person’s point of view, or you’ll never reach a happy medium.
A healthy relationship means that you are able to discuss your problems, your disagreements and your issues in a calm manner, without passing judgment or blaming each other.
The best relationships handle conflict by detaching the issue from the person. This means that you don’t attack the person, but the problem at hand.
How to Have Productive Conflict
To deal with conflict in a healthy way, there are a few things you should try to remember when discussing with your partner:
- If things get heated, take a time out and discuss at another time.
- Pick a suitable time for both of you to discuss the topic.
- Don’t ignore your partner’s thoughts and feelings.
- Don’t be dismissive.
- Listen to your partner.
- Seek clarification if you’re unsure of what they mean rather than assuming.
- Don’t make it personal.
In short, your conflict needs to be productive. It needs to get you somewhere. Creating personal attacks and jabbing at your partner are not going to solve the problem.
Take a deep breath, remain calm, and tackle the problem together. You don’t need to argue to resolve differences.
Productive conflict is important within a healthy relationship. If you are having trouble with conflict in your relationship, and you’re unsure how to handle certain difficult situations, then reach out to me for guidance.