“A gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh words stirs up dissension” - Proverbs

The reason many couples experience conflict is because their expectations aren’t being met and their egos are more important than the relationship. Every couple needs to know how to manage conflict to have a happy and fulfilling relationship. You can’t afford to leave your relationship to chance. No one has ever achieved anything significant without being intentional.

Here are some simple tips you can apply immediately to help you manage conflict in your relationship.

Be Humble

A Lot of conflict can be resolved in a relationship if both people sought first to understand rather than be understood. This means when you’re in a heated discussion you take the high road by fully listening to your boo with empathy. You’re more interested in seeing the relationship succeed rather than seeking a one-up for your personal gratification. If you're not used to this approach it is going to feel really awkward for you. However, I want to encourage you with these wise words from my aunt, you can catch more bees with honey than with vinegar.

Stay Calm and Be Respectful

While working through conflict remember this conversation is not about you it’s about your relationship. Be careful about what you say and refrain from low blows and insulting language. It’ll make you feel good in the moment but will come back to haunt you later on. If you need to take a break because things are getting overwhelming, ask your boo for 15 minutes. While you’re on the break take time to breathe and do your best to see things from your boo’s point of view.

Set the Atmosphere

Creating an inviting and safe atmosphere to have a meaningful conversation is extremely important in managing conflict. Both of you need to feel comfortable airing out your grievances without going on the attack or feeling like you’re going to be attacked. If you or your boo can’t express how you feel without the fear of retaliation or someone getting overly emotional then you’re never going to conquer this important hill in your relationship.

Here are some ways to set the atmosphere and manage conflict:

  • Think about what the relationship needs before you go into the conversation.

  • Avoid springing this conversation on your boo. Prep them first.

  • When starting the conversation tell your boo you want to get some things off your chest and that you’re there to listen to their side of the story as well.

  • Have the conversation when things are going well in your relationship.

Managing Conflict in a relationship

Genuinely Apologize

My wife can smell an insincere apology before it’s even made. If your boo is seeking an apology for something and you can’t sincerely apologize don’t do it - for two reasons. One, if it’s insincere and your boo picks up on it, then it’ll lead to another argument with your boo feeling like you don’t take them seriously or that you don’t care about how they feel. Two, if you can’t or aren’t willing to see where you may contribute to issues then you risk not being able to show empathy or finding the opportunity to grow. Now, the reality is, if your boo is seeking an apology and you can’t give it because you don’t see your fault, then at the very least acknowledge how they feel and apologize for unknowingly creating an environment where they felt hurt. Afterwards, reflect on what they said you did to see how you can behave differently the next time around. It’s difficult to move forward with baggage weighing your relationship down - John Maxwell.

Know You’re Both on the Same Team

I think it’s fair to say people get into intimate relationships to improve their lives on some level. And we often forget that our boo wants the same thing we want - a happy relationship. Remember you are not enemies and it’s ok if things get heated sometimes, it could be the catalyst for growth; keep this in mind next time you get into an argument. After all, the reason why you’re together is because whether consciously or unconsciously you know there is something special between you two that deserves a chance to grow into something beautiful.

Seek Professional Help

This tip will probably be the most underrated tip from everyone who reads this blog. I can’t stress to you enough how important this is. Whether you get counselling together or individually; seeking professional help will give you a perspective about yourself and the relationship that you may have not considered. And it doesn’t matter if you’re in a high or low point in your relationship. Think about it, whenever we want to achieve something significant we tend to seek out people who’ve been there done that. Relationships are no different. Why not give you and your boo the best chance at success. You don’t have to do this alone and you shouldn’t.

If this article was helpful, show us some love and follow us on Instagram and Facebook @wooeternal to discover ways to keep growing your relationship.

*Remember if you and your boo aren’t having fun you’re not doing this relationship thing right!

With love, 
La Vance x Colleen

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