Conflict Resolution: Take Responsibility
We all have to deal with conflict in our marriages, in our business and in our lives. Look at what was going on in Washington, DC a couple months back and the conflict around spending and cutting money. Hey, I have never feigned to be an economist, but I sure as hell know you cannot resolve conflict without taking any responsibility for it. Which brings me to the topic of today’s article and the third skill of conflict resolution: taking responsibility.
Conflict in our relationships cannot be created in a vacuum. At least two people are responsible for it when it enters our lives. Regardless of whether you started the conflict or you are allowing it to perpetuate, you have some personal responsibility for its presence in your relationship. If you want, you can choose to act childish and immature and refuse to take any personal responsibility for the conflict that exists within your relationship. If you do this however, you are putting the romance and intimacy, and your very relationship itself, at risk. As I mentioned in the article: Conflict Resolution Success in Business & Marriage, there is no such thing as a one-handed clap. Therefore, both partners are responsible for its creation and resolution.
Many times conflict can only be resolved when we take personal responsibility. Since we cannot change anyone’s behavior but our own, changing our behavior and/or attitude is often the best way to resolve conflict in our relationships. Although it might be difficult to realize and accept, many times it is our attitude and behavior that is at the heart of conflict in our marriage.Sometime we are totally unreasonable, rigid, unyielding or unrelenting about a position within our marriage which is creating the conflict. When this happens, it is impossible to come to any healthy conflict resolution. If we refuse to see the unreasonableness within a certain conflict while stubbornly refusing to give ground, the conflict cannot be resolved. It would be helpful to remember that there will be times when you want your spouse to admit their responsibility for conflict in your marriage and you will increase your chances ten-fold of getting your spouse to admit this if you have been willing to do this, yourself, at times. Remember, action speaks louder than words – lead by example, even within your marriage.
Once your marriage has a history of resolving conflicts in a healthy productive way (that means not leaving a trail of dead bodies in its wake – lol!) your relationship with your partner will grow deeper and more meaningful. Why? Because the next time a conflict surfaces, you will be confident in the knowledge that you and your spouse have been down this road before, have reached a successful resolution while coming out of the conflict with a deeper connection and understanding of each other.
Conflict Resolution Success in Business & Marriage (for an overview and list of the five skills)
Conflict Resolution: Communicate Effectively (skill #2)
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