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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Learn to Negotiate


Unresolved Conflict Can Damage Relationship

What happens when you and your partner cannot resolve a conflict? Cold silences? Frustration? Long periods of unresolved issues? Blame and defense? Feeling of always being the one who gives in? Resolution to conflict is possible if you both are willing to negotiate.

How to Negotiate

First, clearly define the conflict. Then each of you makes a list of your needs. Brainstorm ways each of you will get some of those needs met. Neither of you will get all of your needs met. Decide on something to try. Follow through. After four to six weeks evaluate. If it is not working, try some thing else until you can find a solution both of you can live with.

Here is a simple example. We have three children and at the time of this incident a foreign exchange student living with us. The six of us went to the mountains to cut a Christmas tree. We all liked different trees. We finally chose a tree none of us hated. Sometimes that is a solution. Ongoing conflict can damage relationship. There is no such thing as winners and losers. If one loses, you both lose.

2 comments:

  1. The key element in maintaining an intimate relationship is in finding time to be alone together. Too often we get lost in running the machine that is called our lives. Children, finances, work, and obligations swallow the "self”. Our partners become part of a schedule. The acquisition of "Things" become more important than our feelings and dreams. Perhaps if we take more time to hold hands or gaze into each other's eyes, we may find the love and passion that once attracted us to each other in the first place .A couple should take a walk in a forest and kiss passionately, and make each other the priority and not Christmas trees.

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  2. Of course, I agree, Jo. Without making time for each other we can never develop a soul mate relationships. This post was focused on how to negotiate differences. The Christmas tree story was a very simple example of that process.

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