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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » Conflict resolution?

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Author Topic: Conflict resolution?
Member # 43486

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I have a hard time with conflict. I tend to escalate things that don't need to be. Most of my life I've been fighting with my dad on and off. We're both touchy, and we tend to jump on things quickly and lose our tempers.

I'm blunt, stubborn, and logical, so I wind up picking on flaws in arguments and attacking them. I should listen to others more, and I try. I'm stuck in some behaviour patterns that aren't great.

My boyfriend and I have a really good relationship (it's our one-year anniversary on the 7th, which makes me so happy). We don't get into big fights, but sometimes we argue about our opinions on stuff like religion or going out to parties, and things just go around in circles and...frankly, it's dumb. We just get entrenched in our own opinions and don't listen.

I want to take care of this relationship. I've never been in one before, and I feel like I've lucked into something really special. We really, really love and care about each other. It feels like we're a really good fit for each other. I was never especially romantic or interested in relationships. And then I met him, and it felt like a part of my world opened up.

Basically, are there any things I can do to remind myself to be a better listener, less cold and logical/angry? I'm not at college during this summer, so I can't go to a counselor. I'm thinking exercises, or things I can say to myself?

I want to be a better person. I'm just not sure how to break the cycle.

Posts: 52 | From: Canada | Registered: Jul 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 43486

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I posted this a while back. I understand that things are really busy here, so I'll just bump this once to see if I can get some feedback.

Our anniversary was lovely, and we went to see the Importance of Being Earnest. Like I said, most of the time we have no problems. There are just some things I'd like to improve on.

Posts: 52 | From: Canada | Registered: Jul 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 1679

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I'm sorry this was overlooked...we've been a bit short staffed lately.

It sounds to me like you're recognizing some conflict rituals (patterns we fall into when we have conflicts with given people). Have you spoken to your partner about how troubled you feel by these talks? If not, then that might be a good place to start. Remember, it takes (at least) 2 people to have a conflict. So even if you change what you are doing, if he doesn't adjust his style as well it may limit the success.

Can you recognize the place in the conflict where things really start to go downhill? In other words, where do you feel like you reach the point where it really starts to be circling around rather than resolving? As you feel yourself approaching that place in a conflict, that's the really crucial point to step away. Perhaps you suggest taking a breather or doing something completely different.

Sarah Liz

Posts: 7316 | From: USA | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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