Some people avoid the conversations that they think will hurt their partner. Others fear getting hurt themselves.

If you disagree on an issue, remember …conflict can bring you closer.

Your goal is to stop the conflict from escalating into a full-blown screaming match or a stalemate where one or both of you end up withdrawing in a huff.

First, Identify your normal, habitual conflict pattern.

You may be reading this because you’ve slipped into a repeated pattern of interaction that just isn’t working. The way to get out of that pattern is to identify it first. So what is your conflict style?

♥ The yelling war…

Do you both scream until one person runs out of steam and quits? You walk away in a huff because you can’t stand the yelling anymore!

♥ The cold shoulder…

Does one person shut down and tune out thinking “If I say nothing and I am very, very quiet, he / she will eventually stop”.

…. Or perhaps you are not even present any more, and the tune of that favourite song in your head is a much better option then engaging with the raging person in front of you.

♥ The cave dweller and pursuer…

Some partners have adopted a pattern where one person hides “in the cave of busyness” mentally and physically they are sooooo occupied with that important project… you know, the one that they just have to finish now! Talking may start and continue intermittently but they are just too busy.

Typically, the talking partner pursues and pursues and pursues until they just give up.

♥ The mountain climber…

Our mountain climber really needs to talk…. And beware, they are on attack and blame mode. Just like climbing a mountain, they need to say what is on their mind and don’t you get in the way with your dialogue because they are going to talk right over you!

Typically, they don’t stop telling you all the things that are wrong until they reach the top of that mountain. You can’t stop them… and even if you try you won’t get a word in!

♥ The denial demons…

What conflict? Who us?

Perhaps you just avoid going to that conflict place when you know you will disagree… no conflict…no discussion…no intimate connection and NO relationship or Growth!!!

That’s when you end up in my clinic, trying to work out how the two of you got to this place of disconnect!! There is a better way using sound principles, one of which is available to you in the free Conflict Scaffold Tipsheet below.

Do you know when you are being triggered? Are you about to start that old conflict pattern…again?

If your answer is YES, then now is the time to change your habitual interaction pattern… before you open your mouth… STOP… don’t continue that old dysfunctional pattern! This will only lead to conflict escalation and greater distance in the relationship.

Now is the time to choose how you want to be as a loving partner, a work colleague, a confidant, a team mate or even a buddy. How do you want to show up? And how do you want to interact with that special person.

If Growth, intimacy and connection are on the agenda, then changing the old conflict pattern is a MUST. Grab the conflict scaffold for more insight into how to turn Conflict into Connection.

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