Monthly Archives: March 2024

Understanding the Connection Opportunities within Conflict

Learning some effective ways to readdress how we look at and interact with conflict. Conflict is not an enjoyable human interaction for us. But it is something we need to learn how to interact with, communication effectively within it, and grow our capacity towards security and safety within it.

Its important to first look at the ways we currently cycle through conflict and the loops we can fall into. Often a mindset we lean into is hyper-critical, defensiveness, trying to be heard at their expense (sometimes trying to win the argument), and not focusing on how to hear the other person.

Let’s start there. Setting our ego aside, and genuinely trying to hear and understand the other person. Before we can often be successful in this, we need to refocus our minds to find connection points (especially with our partners) of looking for ways they are showing up for you and trying to connect with you (Successes and Bids for Connections, Gottman’s). Once we establish connection, we can create very effective conflict where we are open minded, looking to understand, and are heard and valued.

In connection we set down our shields of defensiveness and hyper-critical focuses. While looking to be heard and hear them. Turning our shields into possibilities.

Leaning into Uncomfortable Conversations…

At times in all relationships, we need to confront and address uncomfortable topics. It’s often very challenging to know how to approach it and what to say. Leading people to avoid it all together and patterns of behaviour and cycles develop and continue. These patterns/cycles are preventable.

It’s important to first validate that challenging conversations are not easy, they’re uncomfortable and we are often worried about doing it right. Give ourselves that understanding.

Then it can be very helpful to write out our thoughts, feelings, and examples of what we’re wanting to address. This gives you time to process what the problems or concerns you’re having truly are. **Its often not the one time of a partner/or roommate leaving the dishes in the sink for too long. Its likely the feeling of being unseen, unheard, or not valued. This writing out process allows you to get to the root of the emotion.

From here to would be inviting the person to have a conversation, things to consider:
1. Should I ask ahead of time to have the conversation giving the other person some time to prepare for this?
2. Can I set the stage for the conversation by asking to read out your processed thoughts first before they reply, and the full dialogue can start?
3. Any rules needed to be set for the conversation?
4. Any expectations you have that need to be addressed by yourself first?
5. How can you make your intentions of the conversation known upfront?