November 10, 2007

From Zero to fight in 60 seconds

It can happen in an instant, you’re talking about something and it turns into an argument. It is often so quick and the reaction so intense that you both can lose sight of what happened and how it happened. And yet, conflict can and does erupt when differences between people in a relationship are ignored, not accepted, or resolved without mutual respect. Under these circumstances, one or both people may believe the difference or the conflict discredits personal integrity. Women are usually the ones that like to talk things thru and resolve them whereas men will turn themselves off or walk away. That can send the message that you don’t care enough to work thru the problem. Men are more likely to walk away because of the confrontation factor but sometimes its better to stand your ground and vocalize your side of the story, so to speak. When it gets heated or you become upset quickly, that may be a sign that you are not prepared to discuss your differences in a rational way. It’s better if things are escalating fast to find a way to stop the arguing until you both have calmed down. Agree on a signal beforehand or intervene by saying something like, “I cant talk to you about this right now. I’m pretty mad and may say something that I don’t mean.” I have the tendency to get really quiet when I am upset. I use to be a lose cannon that would go off on a rant when something made me mad. If I’ve learned nothing from the failed relationships in my past, I have learned its better to take a time out and evaluate the situation. I will usually avoid the discussion until I am ready to discuss it and then I try to talk about it in a rational manner. However, I am female and our rationale doesn’t always prove to be the best, depending on the topic and the time of the month. Sometimes if you find a quiet place, preferably another space, to focus on calming down, it can make all the difference in the world. Resolution of the situation begins with each person recognizing that there is a problem and they agree, at some point, to either agree or disagree. A little conflict is good for any relationship. Although, some differences are an ongoing threat to the relationship and require one or both people to change behavior before any effective work on the relationship can be accomplished. Physical and sexual abuse, substance dependence, and lying, are conditions that can make it dangerous, if not impossible, for each person to enter into and improve their relationship because they need to be willing to participate in the resolution. Communication is a key thing in any relationship, without it, things can go from great to bad very quickly. If you love the person, do what it takes to make them feel at peace. Walking away without things being resolved does more damage than good.

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