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Conflict A Good Thing For Your Relationship

Many of us have negative associations with conflict. We often view it as a red flag indicating that something is wrong with a relationship of ours, or more commonly, with the other person we're in disagreement with. So we look to assign blame to ourselves or someone else to locate "the problem.".Breathe easy; conflict is a good and natural occurrence.

It can indicate "growing pains" of a healthy, evolving relationship. Difficult and heated conversations can create greater trust, understanding and intimacy -- once you get to the other side.Conflict has a way of catapulting relationships to a higher level of cooperation and aliveness, if we let it. Instead of being a warning sign that a relationship is doomed, it can be a catalyst for positive change and discovery.

Below are some concrete ways that conflict can be a vehicle for positive change in all your relationships. And the first step to accessing the vein of gold in difficult conversations is to change your viewpoint -- "We're in conflict -- something good is on the other side!".Conflict is a Signal for Something Else.Just as turning off the fire alarm doesn't put out the fire, avoiding conflict doesn't change the fact that there's something trying to express itself in your relationship.Escalating disagreements may point to a need to spend more time together, or it can create much needed space apart and independence. It can help surface important values, or aid in creating alignment around a common goal.

We may discover that it's time to step out of the usual roles we've been playing, or change our expectations of how things need to be.Conflict often indicates that we've outgrown an old way of being together, and need to consciously reinvent or redesign our relationship. And, in some cases, the change that the conflict is pointing to is that a relationship is ready to end, if we are willing to honor its gifts and let go.Doing Conflict Differently.Imagine what might happen if you got curious -- even excited -- when challenging conversations occur. The rewards could mean more intimacy, deeper friendships, and improved working relationships.

Below are 5 steps to help you get curious and unearth the gems in the conflict.

  • Put aside the temptation to point blame and look for clues to reveal the hidden opportunity in the disagreement. If this situation were trying to get your attention about something completely unrelated to the problem, what might it be?
  • Ask about the dreams, wishes, or values that might be behind the conflict.

    "What's important about that for you?"

  • Speak openly and honestly about your own disappointed dreams or expectations that lie beneath your upset. "What I'm really upset about is?"
  • Make requests instead of complaints. Be clear and direct about what you DO want instead of complaining about what you don't like.
  • Find the 2% that's true in what the other person is saying.

    No one is entirely right, nor is someone entirely wrong. Find the common ground between your two truths.

  • .

    And finally, trust yourself, the other person and the wisdom of what's happening in your relationship, even if you don't yet know where it will lead you.When you seize the opportunity to be really honest about who you are and cultivate a willingness to discover what's really important to others, you'll experience more fulfillment in all your relationships.Prepare for Conflict in Advance.When people come together, there's bound to be conflict and differences of opinion. It's totally normal, and needed for change and evolution.

    Knowing that, you can plan ahead and be prepared for the inevitable.Use this article to create agreements for how you want to be with each other when it gets hard or messy with your spouse, boss, coworkers and friends -- before it happens. Remember that it's much easier to prepare for conflict when you're not knee-deep in it!.

    Conflict is a normal part of any relationship, and more often than not, it doesn't signal that the end is near. Rather, conflict should be welcomed as a signal of what's trying to happen in a relationship, and as a pathway to improved communication and deeper understanding.(c) 2006 Kira McGovern, The Big Groove.

    .Kira McGovern, CPCC is at the forefront of the relationship systems coaching movement.

    Kira is nationally known for her dynamic and down-to-earth approach guiding individuals and partnerships of all kinds to reach their full potential and expression in the world. She creates breakthroughs for her clients to find new possibilities in work, love and life. Kira works with clients across the globe via telephone and has offices in Arlington Center, MA.

    Contact her through her website: http://www.TheBigGroove.com.

    By: Kira McGovern


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