Conflict is a normal part of any relationship, but there are practical ways to avoid it. Here are some tips to help you avoid conflict in your relationship to keep you together through hard times.
- Listen to your partner. Conflict arises from miscommunication and misunderstanding. This is prevented by listening to your partner not only superficially but on a deeper level as well. Pay attention to both words and actions. When talking with your partner, check whether you have understood your partner correctly. Repeat what your partner has said, clarify unclear points, let your partner expand what he has said, etc. If your partner doesn’t want to speak, give him space and talk when he’s comfortable communicating with you.
- Spend time with your partner. Not spending time with your partner gives him a feeling that he is neglected, but spending too much time with him makes him feel smothered. The trick is to pay attention to how your partner reacts when you are doing things with him. There are some activities for which he likes your presence, other activities for which he likes to be with other people and times when he wants to be left alone. In times when he likes your companionship, spend quality time, no matter how infrequent.
- Respect your partner. You and your partner are in a relationship because you want to meet your needs. The most important of these needs is to feel important. If you don’t respect your partner, be ready for conflict to happen. Respect your partner’s personality, tastes, beliefs, and the things that are important to him.
- Respect yourself. Hold yourself in high regard and assert yourself when necessary. Avoiding conflict doesn’t mean you relinquish all control to your partner. If you don’t respect yourself, don’t expect that your partner will respect you. A healthy self-confidence is attractive to all, and this makes you more loveable. A wimpy personality is irritable and invites all sorts of conflict.
- Be sensitive. Be sensitive to your partner, but more especially to yourself. Know who you are and why you feel the things that you do. Understanding yourself makes it easier to comprehend other people, especially your partner. Know the things that are important to you. Doing so guides your actions in your relationship.
- Solve problems constructively. Focus on problematic points in your relationship and discuss them with your partner constructively. Choose a time and place that both of you are comfortable with. Build an atmosphere of trust. See each other’s point of view before defending your position. Seek other people’s help if necessary.
- Don’t push your partner to change. Your partner’s identity is important to him. If you want him to change for the sake of your relationship, he may lash out and think of leaving. Make compromises. If this is not possible, end the relationship to save plenty of heartache later on.
- Don’t promise that you’ll change for your partner. You may not be able to meet your partner’s expectations no matter how hard you try. By being submissive, he’ll lose respect for you and seek a more valuable mate elsewhere. Discuss things rationally and come up with a win-win situation. If you desire to change, do so not by words but through actions and he’ll do the same.
- Don’t pressure your partner into loving you. No one wants to be forced to feel an emotion, especially the delicate feeling of love. Let love come naturally; pushing your partner to love you elicits the opposite.
To make a relationship worthwhile, both of you must be happy. If only one person is benefiting in the relationship, or if both of you are suffering, the relationship is sure to be conflict-ridden. Seek a balance in your relationship and constantly renew your feelings for each other.