Nicky's Corner

Conflict resolution is rarely easy. Whether we are dealing with an aggravated customer, lazy coworker, or frustrating neighbor, finding a solution through conversation is not an innate skill for most people. Typically, we rely on some form of avoidance or passive agreement to get past the situation with as little discomfort as possible. 

But how does that tactic work when we are home with a loved one? If you want a good relationship, you know that avoidance doesn’t work. Some form of confrontation is justified, but how to go about it is the tough part. In reality, expressing disagreement with a loved one can be the most challenging conversation for some people. Whereas others appear to have no issues in this domain, others are seemingly dogged by argument after argument. What exactly is going on here?

The answer often lies in habit. One or both partners have developed toxic resolution patterns that are employed whenever their guard is raised. Once the toxic defense is raised, there is little chance for peaceful reconciliation. The question then becomes, “How do I go about unwinding these habits?”

In this next series, I’m going to provide research-backed tips for resolving conflicts between you and your partner. Specifically, I’ll discuss the various types of difficult conversations people find themselves in, why, and what causes us to get closer to, or farther from, a resolution. 

My goal is to provide the reader with a toolkit to be employed whenever they find themselves stuck in a difficult conversation with their loved one. Every successful iteration of the tools suggested in this series with fortify the chances for further success in this domain while gradually eroding the toxic habits that formed up to this point. 

We have limited time on this planet. Let’s make sure we enjoy it.