Conflicts make us react impulsively, and say things we don't actually mean.
They leave us feeling distraught.
So it's totally understandable if you tend to avoid conflicts as much as possible.
But the fact remains that conflicts are inevitable. And your avoidance of conflicts might negatively affect your relationships and well-being.
Maturely discussing differences of opinion is a key aspect of a healthy relationship.
Working through conflicts in a constructive way can bring you and your partner closer together and strengthen your relationship.
Let's look at some of the ways conflicts can actually help your relationship.
1. Conflicts create meaningful change in your relationship.
Conflicts shed light on parts that are not working in your relationship.
They bring uncomfortable issues to the surface, which allows you to make the necessary changes in your relationship and help it evolve.
Sweeping conflicts under the rug can cause you to overlook major challenges in your relationship. If not resolved in a healthy way, these conflicts will eventually lead to bigger problems, when it will be too late to solve them.
Some people get instantly anxious with the thought of confronting someone. Well, there's nothing wrong with trying to keep the peace, but you need to be able to deal with conflicts as well.
Avoiding conflicts altogether will do more harm than good. Yes, conflicts make you vulnerable, but they also show that both partners care about the relationship and trust each other with their deepest hopes and fears.
If you keep avoiding conflicts and make no effort to resolve them, you're essentially letting the other person deal with the problems on their own.
The most important part of any conflict is the way you repair it afterward.
Look at conflicts as a way of discussing different perceptions and expressing needs in a non-judgmental way. Resolving conflicts in a healthy way involves being flexible and open to change your behavior.
Mindful listening and communicating your viewpoints respectfully can actually bring both of you closer.
2. You learn what's really going on in your partner's mind.
Conflicts provide an opportunity to deeply understand the other person's beliefs and desires. You gain insight into their thinking patterns and limits.
This knowledge helps you feel more prepared and solve the issue at hand without being offensive or insensitive.
Put yourself in their position and make the effort to understand where they are coming from. Maybe they are worried about a much larger problem and as a result of which getting upset over trivial matters?
Try to understand why they feel the way they do. Get to the real issue.
3. Unresolved conflicts can cause resentment to build in your life.
Conflicts arise out of varying expectations and unmet needs. To solve an issue, you have to first admit there is one.
Avoiding conflict will not make the problems go away. You cannot resolve conflicts by ignoring your emotions.
Conflicts help release negative emotions.
The more you face your uncomfortable emotions, the easier it gets to not get bogged down by it. Eventually, you learn to not fear those emotions.
If you always run away from conflicts, you don't give yourself a chance to cultivate the ability to manage negative emotions as they arise.
So to become better at handling conflicts, you have to face them. You can try to pretend there's no conflict all you want, and it may diffuse the situation temporarily, but it will lead to bigger issues later.
Suppressing your emotions rarely works. All the festering emotions will start leaking out of you in one way or another. And when that happens, you may end up acting it out with others. You may become more irritable, passive-aggressive, and frustrated easily.
If you don't talk about your respective needs and expectations or work together to resolve your differences, you will keep on ruminating over your problems, and feel resentful.
These feelings of resentment can take away the closeness you feel with each other. You still end up feeling distraught and your issues don't even get addressed.
These issues will keep coming back to negatively affect your relationship.
4. You are not being authentic if you don't assert your needs.
If you always sacrifice who you are to please the other person, you end up losing self-respect and your sense of worth. By trying too hard to remain emotionally safe, you actually push your true emotions deeper.
And how can you form a real bond with your partner if you hide your true self? Talk about your real feelings instead of simply saying what the other person wants to hear. Speak the truth about yourself.
Your partner deserves to know your true opinions and feelings.
Use conflicts as a means to challenge your old assumptions and create space for productive conversations.
As you navigate conflicts and reach a mutually beneficial resolution, the bond between you will become stronger.
It's also important that you challenge the assumptions you have about the conflict itself. Don't blow things out of proportion or assume the worst-case scenario.
Having conflicts doesn't mean that there is no love in the relationship. Despite your best efforts, there will always be certain situations where you won't get along with your partner.
Conflicts show that you care about each other and want to make things better.
You create a stronger sense of emotional security as you resolve each conflict. You both understand that you will always stick together, and work through anything that comes your way.
Conflicts are certainly good for your relationship, provided you handle them the right way. When emotions are running high, it's easy to get carried away.
If needed, take a break and give each other some breathing room to cope with your feelings. But remember that taking a break is not the same thing as ignoring the issue altogether.
Take the time to think about how you can get to the root of the problem in a calm and nonjudgmental way.
Sure conflicts are uncomfortable, but the end result, a stronger emotional connection is well worth it.