Relationship Tips: Conflict
Tim Connor, CSP
Ssales & management speaker and trainer, and best-selling author
Every relationship sooner or later has conflict. Most relationships
have some form of conflict on a regular or on-going basis. Conflict
is not good or bad, positive or negative. It is neutral. It is an
opportunity to build and strengthen or sabotage and destroy a relationship.
Whether you have been dating for 3 months or married for over 40
years I guarantee you have had a disagreement about something whether
major or minor in the past few weeks. The ability to use conflict
as a positive relationship tool tends to be one of the weaker skills
of many people in relationships whether a marriage, with children,
with employees or customers.
I will be the first to admit that the ability to "push" people's
buttons is not an attractive trait. But, nonetheless many people seem
to take delight in being able to bring to the surface someone's suppressed
anger, guilt and regret. Over the years I have come to see conflict
as an excellent method for getting in touch not with what is wrong
with the other person (the assumption I make when I do this is they
need to change or be fixed) but what is inside of me that I have not:
- Successfully dealt with.
The key issue here in my opinion regarding the positive or negative
use of conflict in relationships is the degree of trust, acceptance
and respect (TAR) that is present. If you lack any of these, any conflict
will sooner or later erupt into a battle and one that may have its
ultimate and final solution with the termination of the relationship.
Where TAR is present and used as a filter through which any and all
disagreements are passed, you will be amazed at how the outcome will
be more beneficial.
I have experienced a difficult divorce where the conflicts just
grew more frequent and more heated as time passed. The issue, looking
back, was not whether I took out the trash or was late for dinner,
but what was the degree of TAR that was present in the relationship.
Having said that, TAR is not in a relationship any more than passion
is in a relationship of fun in a job.
The sethings are in people. So if TAR is not there it is because
it isn't in either or both of the parties and as a result. I guarantee
that sooner or later without it your conflicts will be destructive.
The key to effectively managing conflict is to ensure you continue
to maintain and develop TAR in the relationship.
"No one can hurt you without your consent."