ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Diffusing Conflict Before the Argument Becomes Physical

Updated on May 14, 2008

Seek to Understand and to Be Understood


Conflict is unavoidable in even the most congenial relationship. The key to a happy relationship is not the complete avoidance of conflict but to handle the inevitable disagreements in a constructive manner.

The following suggestions for a peaceful resolution assume that the disagreeing parties want resolution. Some people simply enjoy the fight. They seek to control and dominate their partners. If that is not the case; if both parties are willing to communicate both thoughts and feelings, exhibit respect for one another and seek a win-win outcome then the probability of reaching a mutually agreeable solution is quite high.

Man couples find a three fold plan to be highly beneficial when resolving both the minor day-by-day conflicts and the major conflicts that threaten to tug the relationship asunder.

Seek to Understand

If a couple truly desires to resolve their conflict they must first commit to understanding one another. The first step is to validate each other's feelings and display a willingness to solve the problem confronting them. Listen carefully to your partner express his thoughts, needs, and feelings and then repeat what you heard. This important step confirms an accurate understanding of your mate's statements. You will be amazed at how often what we think we heard is not what your partner said! Repeat this step over and over again if needed. It is imperative to understand what was said. Do not be condescending or haughty but truly seek to understand his unmet needs. After you understand your partner's needs, ask him what would make him feel better. What does he need?

Seek to be Understood

Of course conflict resolution is not a one way street! Once you have come to an understanding of your partner's needs then he needs to come to an understanding of your needs. Express yourself calmly and then confirm his understanding by having him repeat what he heard. Again, this step might need to be repeated many times before your needs are understood.

Mutually Generate Opinions and Resolutions

Now that both parties understand each other's thoughts and feelings it is time to brainstorm solutions. Do not allow judgment to enter into the conversation. That will end all discussion and necessitate a return to step one - seek to understand! Discuss each other's solutions and seek to choose the option that maximizes each other's needs and respects each other's feelings. Be patient! A final resolution might require many discussions for particularly complicated disagreements. It is rare that an option is reached that is not a compromise of each partner's solution.

Whereas conflict resolution is rarely simple it is worth the effort to seek to understand and then to be understood. A strong adherence to this simple plan will promote respect and honoring within the relationship. Truly this is a win-win solution!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • frausimo profile image


      9 years ago

      Relationship conflict resolution tips is designed by licensed marriage and family counselors, which is easy to understand and easy to follow in daily life to resolve conflicts before conversation turns in to some serious problems. Stay attentive on the subject and resists the inducement to fetch up other conflicts or to get up earlier period grievances. Don't make generalization such as “not at all” and “for all time”. Don't use offensive names, or use provocative words or insults. Don't tag your spouse's behavior such as lazy, egoistic, careless, etc. as an alternative advice your spouse how you consider when certain stuff occur. Use “I” statements as a substitute of "you" statements. Listen carefully to your spouse's thinking and attempt not to react defensively. Do not depart the conversation without letting your associate recognize that you require a pause and will be presented to restart the discussion in the near future.

    • Mary Stuart profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Washington

      Thank you! I am sure you have lots of conflicts to resolve with 6 children! I wish you the best! I have walked the autism path with my best friend!

    • donnaleemason profile image


      10 years ago from North Dakota, USA

      Great Mary.

    • Mary Stuart profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Washington

      I am glad you enjoyed it. We all need to be understood!

    • mroconnell profile image


      10 years ago from France

      Thanks for the well thought-out advice. Seek to understand is so important, it's listed twice! :)


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)