After the conflict, we can see that couples become closer and are more open to sharing. This atmosphere is the result of at least one of the couples giving importance to “pacifying” their partner in a conflict environment. Appeasementand understanding prominent, we are now talking about constructive conflict resolution styles. Such approaches contribute to the growth and development of the relationship.
collaborative action When we consider the issue, we see that initiative to solve problems and motivation to reduce tension are at the forefront. Thanks to cooperation, the person tries to find the right move for both himself and his partner. single accusations predominate “You do not understand me!” “You always do what you want!” Instead of sentences like these, it is preferable to discuss and analyze the problem together. In a relationship, two people try to find a solution together, considering that there are two separate worlds. As a result, the needs of both the partner and the person are discussed and a common point is reached.
Compromise In the style of acting together, care is taken to maintain mutual respect and satisfaction while dealing with problems, similar to the style of acting together. The focus is on finding a solution where both sides win. Unlike the collaborative style, in the distancing style, the partners have to make some sacrifices in order to reconcile. Small sacrifices, such as reducing the time spent on social media to spend time together, coming home earlier, often help couples reconcile.
We can consider many styles of conflict, such as collaborative action and compromise. However, the important thing is to understand the basic logic of constructive attitudes and behaviors. Being constructive is being flexible; Being flexible sometimes means being silent and sometimes expressing. Of course, we should not forget the share of empathetic communication language. It is important for healthy interaction that the partners respect each other’s space and boundaries, the other is soothing when one is angry, and the emotions are handled in an open communication style.In addition, it is one of the basic dynamics of being constructive that the expectations of the couples from each other and the relationship can be matched and understood by the other in the process of being together.
As I mentioned in my previous article, trying to persuade and change the partner is among the destructive behaviors. These behavior patterns are fed by the idea that there is only one truth. However, when it comes to togetherness, there are two separate from me we talk about. Making statements or acting from a one-sided point of view only injures the partner’s self. Therefore, in order to be constructive, it is necessary to accept the other as it is, without giving form, judgment or trivialisation. In fact, isn’t that the basis of conflicts? Aren’t conflicts the result of forgetting the other by getting lost in our own world with our desires and emotions?As in the relationship process, couples need to understand each other’s needs (love, respect, loyalty, communication, etc.) for healthy solutions in the conflict process.
How can we go about understanding our partner and solving the problem?
A harsh language always provokes the other party or prevents him from expressing himself. It is healthier to make a soft start and to express needs with the language of I without making accusations with the language of you. Instead of counting the mistakes that the person made one after the other, it will guide your partner by stating how he/she behaves when he/she makes you happy. “I am like this, what can I do!” Instead of saying that, you need to take responsibility, see your share of problems, and make an effort to make up for your mistakes. How long will a heated discussion last in such a conversational setting? If you can’t find the strength to do all this, it’s best to take a short break from the conflict. Unlike the avoidance style we talked about among the destructive conflict styles, these breaks involve relaxing and coming back to address the issues.
So why is it important to be constructive in conflicts?
When we look at the researches, we can see many studies on the effects of conflict resolution styles. When we start from the results, we cannot count the negative effects of destructive conflict styles. For example, did you know that married couples who prefer destructive conflict styles result in more divorces (Gottman & Levenson, 1992)? Or that destructive conflict styles reduce relationship satisfaction (Cramer, 2000; Hojjat, 2000), cause stress, loss of self-confidence and learning problems, and negatively affect individuals’ well-being (Reese-Weber & Kahn, 2005)? It seems that regulating emotions and behavior patterns during conflict is very important for both individual and relationship health.
If it is healthier in the long run to act with a flexible and empathetic perspective instead of managing conflict with impulsive and destructive attitudes, why not make an effort to be constructive?