5 ways to reduce conflict in your relationship - KMSP-TV

5 ways to reduce conflict in your relationship

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Do you find yourself fighting a lot in your relationship? Are you constantly wondering what you’re doing wrong and why your partner doesn’t understand you? Adrienne Laursen, LMFT, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and owner of The Engagement Coach, talks about why couples fight and how to work on your relationship at home.

5 ways to reduce conflict in your relationship

1. Learn to actually HEAR your partner. We all think we’re great listeners, but truly hearing your partner is a skill that most don’t have. Practice active listening skills with one another over non-emotional issues so that when more difficult conversations come about, you’ll be better prepared.

2. Ask questions to truly understand how your partner is thinking and feeling. If you don’t understand your partner, ask for clarification. So often, we just rely on our own assumptions and typically those assumptions don’t have much to do with what our partner is actually feeling and thinking.

3. Respond to your partner the way you’d like to be treated. The Golden Rule goes a long way in relationships. Really give some thought to how you want your partner to feel after the conversation or conflict is over. Try to approach your communication in a way that will produce a desirable outcome.

4. Get to know your partner’s needs. Does your partner need empathy and understanding (especially true for most women), or does your partner want help fixing a problem (especially true for most men)? Find out what your partner needs from you in the beginning of a conversation that could turn dicey, so you know how to respond.

5. Don’t just take the easy way out because it’s more comfortable. Changing patterns of communication and conflict in any relationship is difficult and it takes a lot of time and effort. It’s important to realize that making the “right” choice during a conflict cycle doesn’t mean it’s the easy choice. Doing things differently for the betterment of your relationship (especially if your partner isn’t participating) takes a lot of courage and vulnerability.

For more information on Adrienne’s counseling services and free relationship tips, please visit her website at www.TheEngagementCoach.com.

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