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Healthy Conflict Resolution to Increase Relationship Satisfaction

Healthy Conflict Resolution to Increase Relationship Satisfaction

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Relationship conflict, just like internal conflict, is a sign that we are growing and developing. It may be a sign that we are out of alignment, in need of change, or our voice needs to be heard. However, many of us avoid conflict, leading to a plethora of other issues.

In a conflict, take a step back & consider your goal moving forward. DBT guides us to discern if our goal is our objective, relationship, or self-respect. All three are important! If you find that your goal is to work through the conflict and restore the relationship, focus on Relationship Effectiveness, or keeping and improving your relationship.

Ask yourself: “How do I want the other person to feel about me after this interaction? What do I have to do to maintain a healthy relationship?”

This process is a pivotal step to self-empowerment AND relationship satisfaction.

Here is a helpful acronym to help you maintain your self-worth while showing respect for the other person, resolving conflict, problem solving, and sticking to your values in the process.

GIVE
G- Be GENTLE. Be kind & respectful. No attacks, threats, judgment, or sneering express anger directly with words without attacking/belittling the other person.
I- Act INTERESTED. Listen and appear interested in the other person. Really hear their point of you. Maintain eye contact and be understanding if the other person needs time. Actively LISTEN to their views.
V- VALIDATE with words and actions, show that you understand the other persons feelings even if you don’t agree with them. Saying something like, “I realize this is hard for you,” Can go a long way!
E- use an EASY MANNER. Leave your attitude at the door both verbally and nonverbally. Our non-verbals can communicate a lot. In fact, this is often a focus in therapy when discussing communication patterns. Use humor, & remember your goal is to maintain this relationship!

For more FABULOUS relationship tips, follow Drs. John & Julie Gottman on Instagram. They are relationship gurus, and all of their work is founded in evidenced based research @gottmaninstitute.

Maggie Wilhelm headshot

Maggie Wilhelm is a Licensed Professional Counselor, specializing in working with women across the lifespan dealing with low self-esteem, relationship challenges, major life transitions, or trauma. Maggie’s work with clients is rooted in CBT, which she uses to help clients make sustainable life changes and better understand the connections between their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Maggie is also certified in Trauma-Focused CBT and brings knowledge of other evidence-based modalities, including Interpersonal Therapy and DBT, to her sessions with clients as well.

Check out more of Maggie's articles here. Or, follow @maggiewilhelmcoaching on Instagram for more wellness tips.

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