How to Communicate Effectively in Times of Conflict

Conflicts can always be expected in life. We cannot avoid all hard times because sometimes they happen for a reason that is beyond us. People are like magnets or mirrors. We are attracted to what we have within us. And when we are upset by someone either angererd or hurt, that too is a reflection of something within us that causes a rise in emotion. Learning to respond to conflicts rather than reacting to them is key for peaceful resolution. What is the difference? Reacting is fast and typically stems from ego. Often we react out of false emotions such as self righteousness, the need for a guarantee, self pity, blame or fear. But, underneath those false emotions is the real reason for your behavior and reaction. Learn to slow down and pause. In that pause you can choose careful words and deliver them in a constructive positive way which will ultimately allow you to seek resolution. 

Photograpy by Paul Garrett

When anger is triggered look within and be honest with yourself. Thank the person who draws that out of you because then you can gain insight into how to deal with your personal demons. We all have them. Ultimately our inner child is scared by conflict. But, in moments of frustration and anger, when emotions are heightened, let the person know with whom you are conflicted that you would be happy to communicate positively and productively after you have had a little time and space to compose your thoughts. This way the person will not feel abandoned by silence and you will be less likely to speak harshly with words that you may regret. Some people withdraw during conflicts or use the silent treatment as a weapon. Both can create more fear and hurt if you do not let the other person know that you just need some space to collect your thoughts. 

Words are very powerful. They can bring you closer together or tear you apart. They can also be forgiven, but never forgotten. In intimate relationships, cutting words may even destroy the fabric of love forever. This is why good communication is incredibly important as to not worsen an already difficult situation. Once again, forget the silent treatment and blocking for those tactics are sometimes as equally abusive as name calling and other forms of verbal abuse.

Photography by Paul Garrett

Photography by Paul Garrett

Fear is a big problem in relationships and it is quite common. Especially the fear of being abandoned. We must be centered, self loving and trusting so that no one can shake us. That is not to say we will not experience a huge range of emotions. You are the only person you need to trust. When something feels very off or continuously hurtful and you cannot find resolution, you have to trust yourself to move on, write a new chapter and add or remove characters. If you trust your significant other, there is a chance you can get hurt. Likewise, if you do not trust, there is also a chance you can get hurt. So, what do you have to lose by trusting. 

Photography by Paul Garrett

Photography by Paul Garrett

Try not to complicate the issue in conflict by seeking advice for your relationship or situation from others. You might end up compounding things and leave friends and family with a bad impression of someone who you care deeply about. Most likely the reason you seek advice from others is because you seek self gratification. The answers that truly matter lie within yourself. Take your time, consider journaling your thoughts, and never text during conflict. Talk calmly, slowly and with carefully chosen words that are constructive. Know when it can be resolved and when to walk away. Set boundaries and try to see both sides. Beautiful relationships with friends, family or your intimate partner require mutual love, compassion and respect for one another. Through effective communication we can resolve our differences in a manner that nurtures respect, love and intimacy.

Sending love,


P.S. - If you are interested in more information about relationships, check out my blog called, "Communication: Male vs. Female."

Love is the garden that grows in your heart. So how is your love garden doing? Learn more on the blog this coming Tuesday.

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