There’s nothing sexy or fun about arguing. But if you know how to do it right you can not only create deeper connection, you can get to the sexy and fun much quicker.
None of us really like conflict. But how often do you find yourself in the midst of an argument with your partner?
Disconnection is the end result of any argument. When you choose to step into an argument you’re trying to make your point of view be understood by the other person. However, the more you push your perspective the harder the other person feels the need to push theirs. The only way out is to stop arguing and start listening.
Here are three steps to help you listen and create connection through the conflict:
1. It Starts with the Right Mindset
When you argue you come from a win-lose perspective. If you choose to create connection through conflict hold a win-win attitude.
One of my favorite ways to think about conflict is “IT’S YOU AND ME AGAINST THE PROBLEM.” Holding this WE attitude will develop a foundation for you and your partner through any upset.
2. Empower Yourself First
Believe it or not, when you are upset you disempower yourself. In other words you hand your power over to the other person, to your feelings and to your unhelpful thoughts.
Remember the other person isn’t your enemy. In fact, they’re your most cherished treasure, even if you are upset with them in the moment. At work, if someone really upsets you, you find a way to control yourself because you don’t want to lose your job. Do you want to lose your significant other, who I am guessing is more precious than your job? If you can control yourself at work you can control yourself in an upset with your partner too.
Your feelings are not your enemy either. But if you let them take the lead they will get you in trouble. Or at least keep you from creating the end results you desire. There’s a lot going on with your brain and body when you’re upset. Your first step is to calm yourself down. Deep breathing when done right will help you to get the thinking part of your brain back online before you say or do something you will regret later.
Keep in mind that your negative thoughts are trying to help protect you. However, believing your way of thinking about something is THE TRUTH will not bring harmony to your relationship. Practice questioning your own thoughts. When you have flexibility about your thoughts you empower yourself to move into conflict from an open, positive direction.
3. Step into Conflict with Curiosity and Listen
Somewhere in your lifetime you have most likely heard of “I” statements and other effective communication skills, right? But how often have you tossed all of those out the window the moment you step into an argument?
Here is a trick to help you when it comes to conflict: To get your point of view across, first hear their point of view.
I often tell the couples I work with whomever is the least triggered in an upset should be the one to step into the curiosity role and listen. By being curious and listening you will create a calm and open environment. Once the other person feels understood they will be more open to hearing you.
However, all those effective communication skills do need to be utilized in order to keep the open environment so that connection can be created.
Follow these steps and you’ll create deeper connection through conflict and get to that sexy and fun.
Photo by Flickr/Wayne Stadler