“Between stimulus and response, there is a space.
In that space is our power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
Tension and conflict are inevitable power of any relationship.What are the other Six behaviors that kill relationships? It might be a moment when he says that he would text you at the end of the night after being out with his friends, and he didn’t. It might be a moment when he interacts with someone else in a way that makes you feel jealous. Or maybe he has forgotten something important to you or forgets something you like or a promise that he made to you. Tension in these moments is inevitable. But the damage to the relationship IS NOT.
You see, it doesn’t matter what you argue about, but it does matter how you argue about it. And most of us have some reactions that we do when we are feeling scared and hurt. They can destroy the relationship instead of developing.
I want you to take a moment and be honest with you about yourself. And think about how you behave. What is your pattern? I will name a few patterns and think about what is the way you relate to it.
1.Silence is worse than the distance.
Number one, we go silent. When our partner does something we don’t like, we go into ourselves, giving them the silent treatment.
Number two, we storm off. Here we make a point of getting out of their views, and instead of giving him a chance to explain himself, we disappear.
Number three, we label our partner. Instead of saying that it was a selfish thing you did, we tell you are selfish.
4.Black and white
Number four, you make the argument black and white. He is wrong, you’re right, and there is no form of interpretation to the argument’s listening.
5.Talk with your partner.
Number five, instead of communicating with him, you go to your friends and often complain about him.
The sixth one is attacked with hurtful comments designed to inflict pain, not to solve the problem. We need to remember that these reactions are the reactions of fear, fear that we won’t be enough, fear of abandonment, or fear that we chose the wrong partner. When we are scared, we do crazy shit. Why? Because, after all, we are fucked up. We all are.
In the meantime, when we are working with our issues, we need to have a better responding system to deal with conflicts. Even though we can be too emotional within a given moment, we can control our reactions too. So what are the trained responses we should be working on?
Instead of going silent, speak!
Don’t disappear, stay, and solve! Instead of labelling and denigrating your partner’s character, focus on the behaviour you didn’t like.
Don’t ever take things black and white, allow for nuance in the argument and allow for the argument’s complexity. My favourite phrase in life is, why can’t both be true? Why can’t you think he did something selfish, and also he didn’t mean to be selfish or that you overreacted at the moment? Why can’t both be true?
Instead of going to your friends without a proper reason to complain about how badly he acted, choose one person or two persons to help to organize your thoughts. And go back to him to talk. In that way, make up your mind.
Use to restrain the kind of words and phrases that attack and tomorrow you wish you could take back.
Look, when we are vulnerable or scared, we all have our brand of crazy. But when the intoxication fades away, all we would be left with are the reactions we are ashamed of. When I see someone acting weird or wonderful, I don’t see a crazy person, but I see someone scared. We need to realize that relationships are made or broken in moments of conflict and tension. We have to learn how to navigate those moments because that would be the difference between finding and keeping a lasting love or losing it forever.
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