Conflict Communication in Relationships

No one likes conflict. Actually, some people thrive off of it and live for drama in their lives, but my point is: no one likes to be unhappy and conflict with important people in our lives ultimately stresses us out and makes us unhappy. Why? Because we care about that person, obvi. If we didn’t care, it wouldn’t be a big deal and we wouldn’t stress. And, unfortunately, when we hit a roadblock in our relationships it’s super hard to overcome them when both people are feeling extremely emotional.

It’s honestly really hard to deal with problems when we’re so consumed by what we’re feeling. When our egos are attacked and we get swept in anger and sadness, it’s consuming and clouding our true judgement. This is why it sometimes takes forever to hash things out with our significant other, best friend or roommate when we are super emotional towards something. What’s important to remember, is that your best interest is to maintain your relationship because you obviously care about your relationship with that person. And in the end, no one likes to be unhappy.

Here’s some helpful tips I’ve learned along the way being in a sorority, having roommates and also having a boyfriend for nearly two years when dealing with conflict:

  1. Remember the Root of the Problem

    It’s easy to get totally consumed and overwhelmed when you’re angry at someone. Either they did something that made your uncomfortable or overstepped their boundaries a little. It’s important to remember the root of the problem and to not say petty things on the side. DON’T ADD FUEL TO THE FIRE.

  2. Don’t Attack Their Character

    Adding on to not saying petty things on the side, don’t attack their character. Whatever you don’t like about them as a person that didn’t bother you for a while before, it’s not a great way to keep a relationship by pointing out what you hate about them. It also adds fuel to the fire and then the discussion or argument turns into something way more emotional than it needs to be because then you start attacking each other’s egos and straying away from the main problem.

  3. Be Open Minded

    It’s important to remember that just because things aren’g going your way, doesn’t mean they HAVE to go your way. No one is the same person, so when we butt heads with other people, it’s super frustrating trying to make the other person see your perspective. BUT, at the same time, it’s important for YOU to also try and understand THEIR perspective as well. Don’t focus on what’s right or wrong. Focus on the root of the problem and how to communicate calmly in a way that gets you what you BOTH want. An effective way of doing this is asking the other person, “What can we both do to meet each other halfway?” or “Is there a way where you can get what you want and I can get what I want?” This way, everyone is mostly satisfied and you can continue on with your lives.

  4. Remember To Have Each Other’s Best Interest at Heart

    I’ve been reiterating that it’s important to remember the root of the problem and not get swept up in your anger. Remember that this person has made an impact in your life and at some point has made some very good and happy impacts in your life. Ask yourself, is it really worth it to blow up and snap and push this person away? Really ask yourself, is it worth it to lose this person because I can’t get over this one thing? News flash: No one is just like you and you aren’t going to get along with a single person EVERY time, especially if you live together or if you’re dating. But, if you value the times you’ve had with this person and your relationship it’s important to keep in mind that you want to preserve your relationship and to also equally have their best interest at heart as well.

I know it can be extremely stressful going through conflict with roommates, our significant others, even our best friends at times, but it’s important to remember that overcoming difficult emotional situations is what makes your relationship stronger and makes you closer. Stay grounded, don’t victimize yourself and try to see the other person’s perspective. Be patient, be communicative and don’t hold anything in. If something bothers you, say something. Holding it in and snapping isn’t fair for the other person because they didn’t know any better. Remember that you both are equally at faults in conflict and that in the end, preserving our relationships and keeping them healthy is everyone’s best interest.

Hope this helps!

xx, Bri.

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