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Natural Awakenings Twin Cities

Dealing With Conflict in Relationships

Jan 27, 2015 06:31PM ● By Elda Dorothy

Elda Dorothy

Any type of long-lasting relationship will inevitably encounter conflict. Conflict is all around, touching every relationship. Fighting is like eating, breathing, or sleeping—everybody does it, just in their own way.

Yelling, accusing, or running away—these are some of the ways people choose to react to a conflict in their life, rather than sharing with the other person what they really feel.

Consider this alternative:  What if we talk instead of run away from the situation? What if we reveal what’s really bothering us rather than attack?

Often, the conflict is not even about the subject at hand, but rather some underlying issue of which the person isn’t even aware.

Look deeper. Learn to ask questions together to find the source of the issue. Could it be as simple as one person is overly tired or has low blood sugar? Perhaps they’re lonely so they’re creating drama to receive attention.

How people deal with conflict is oftentimes the brain reacting protectively from repeating a previously unpleasant experience.

The next time there is a knot in the pit of your stomach at the thought of dealing with an uncomfortable situation, here are some ways to deal with that:

  • Notice your body language and posture. The way you carry your body influences your bio-chemical state, thus affecting your emotions. Your non-verbal actions govern how you think and feel about yourself and can change your state of mind.
  • Change your focus. Whatever you focus on will determine how you experience the world. Be in the moment. Find something good in it.
  • Watch your words. How you choose to speak affects the way you present yourself. What are they seeing/hearing when you speak?

“In all tests of character, when two viewpoints are pitted against one another, in the final analysis the thing that will strike you the most is not who was right or wrong, strong or weak, wise or foolish… but who would go to the greatest lengths in considering the other’s perspective.” ~ Mike Dooley

Elda Dorothy helps people deal with the pain of family estrangement. For more information, contact [email protected] or visit

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