Most couples need to fight more, not less — here’s why and how to do it - Deepstash

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Conflict Triggers

According to a 2019 study, here are the top three conflict triggers that upset, irritate, hurt, or anger partners

1. Condescension (i.e., you are treated as stupid or inferior; your partner acts like they think they’re better than you.

2. Possessiveness, jealousy and/or dependency (i.e., your partner demands too much attention or time or is overly jealous, possessive, or dependent)

3. Neglect, rejection and/or unreliability (i.e., your partner ignores your feelings, doesn’t call or text, doesn’t say they love you)

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Short-term gain, long-term pain.

Short-term gain, long-term pain.

  • Researchers from the University of Michigan and Penn State University followed more than 1,500 adults for more than a week, they found that while people felt better on the day they avoided an argument, the next day they had diminished psychological well-being and increased cortisol, which can lead to weight gain, mood swings, and trouble sleeping. 
  • When partners avoided important relationship topics, they had worse communication, were less happy, and were less dedicated to their relationship seven weeks later.

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  • For the good of the relationship, every argument needs to start the same way: Partners need to give each other the benefit of the doubt. Rather than start off assuming your partner is wrong, is hopelessly flawed, has bad intentions, or is trying to hurt you, you give them what psychologist Carl Rogers calls “unconditional positive regard,” or the belief that at their core, everyone is a good person.
  • For successful conflict resolution, next, you need to know what type of problem you’re dealing with. Serious problems should be dealt with differently than the more mundane problems. 

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Listening Techniques-1

Regardless of the problem, there’s no substitute for listening to your partner.

How do we become better listeners? Give a “CRAPO”. Here’s what I mean:

1. Clarify: Be clear about what they’re saying if not ask questions. 

2. Reflect the other person’s feelings: Mastering empathy starts with a simple realization: Behind everything our partner says, there’s an emotion they’re dying to have us notice.

3. Attend: Appearing fully engaged and present, without nearby distractions like your phone or other screens, conveys to your partner that the conversation is important.

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Listening Techniques-2

4. Paraphrase: To demonstrate your understanding, you should be able to recap what your partner is saying, using your own words. This has two big benefits: First, it shows your partner that you’re deeply invested in the conversation; second, knowing you need to paraphrase forces you to pay close attention.

5. Open-ended questions: Keep the spotlight on your partner by giving them the space to talk through how they feel. Lead them toward deeper analysis by asking questions like “What would you suggest to someone else in this same situation?”; “How did you make this decision?”.

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