Methods of Dealing with Conflict

Any time two or more people live or work in close proximity of each other there will be disagreements and conflict. Your marriage is no exception. This is an inevitable fact of life because human beings are imperfect. Furthermore, we are all imperfect in different ways. We all have beliefs, ideas, feelings, expectations and ideals that will be different from – and sometimes at odds with – those of others. These differences, however, are not the problem. It is the manner in which we perceive and deal with differences that creates problems.

How you and your spouse react and respond to the differences and conflicts that arise can make or break your marriage. While there are various methods that people employ when dealing with conflict, there are five basic styles that tend to emerge. These five styles are: domination, appeasement, avoidance, compromise, and resolution.

Domination basically involves one or both parties striving to have their view or decision prevail.

Appeasement is a style that sacrifices or yields one’s own feelings, beliefs or ideas in order to pacify or please the other person.

Avoidance is a form of withdrawal in which one seeks to remove themselves from conflict – either physically or emotionally.

Compromise is a method in which each person sacrifices some of their wishes in order to have their wishes upheld in other areas.

Resolution generally involves the changing of the attitude or expectation of one or both parties based on discussion of the issues. It involves forming agreement while maintaining a strong relationship.

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