Have you ever looked at another couple or another friendship and thought to yourself, “They’re perfect. They get along, and they probably never fight as much as I do.” Girl, ME TOO! It’s a horrible comparison that can leave us feeling like we’re the crazy ones or the ones who never seem to get a grip on their relationships. I was recently getting a facial done at my local ULTA, and I was chatting with my aesthetician who felt so discouraged about her relationship with her boyfriend because despite being together for two years, they seem to always have conflict issues. She said, “It’s easy for me to feel like I’m the only one going through this kind of stuff.” I quickly reassured her that I was totally in the same boat.
This post is for her, for me and for you–––for anyone who has ever believed the lie that says we’re alone in the struggle! Hundreds of times, I’ve found myself in conflicts with friends or with my significant other, and I, too, have wondered why I’m the only one. If anyone is in any kind of relationship, the reality is that they will encounter some sort of difference with the other person. No two humans could ever see eye to eye on everything because––guess what! We’re all different, we’re all unique and we’re all going to view the world through distinct eyes. The important aspect to any conflict is giving effort to finding the resolution and the common ground.
The next time conflict comes knocking at your door, conquer and overcome the arguing with these three invaluable thoughts:
When we speak the facts rather than emotional outbursts, we attack the root of the issue rather than the person.
Lay aside the hurtful comments, and speak the facts. If I counted how many times I’ve said counterproductive, hurtful comments during an argument, I would be a millionaire. I’ve had to really train myself to be as objective as possible when facing conflict with someone I love. When we take an objective approach, we are able to set aside our emotions and deal with the root of the issue. Without demeaning or tearing down the other person, unpack the issue with the other person from a place of authenticity and honesty.
The point of an argument is to communicate your view clearly while allowing the other person to express themselves, too.
Conflict is inevitable and occurs when two people are trying to communicate their perspective clearly. If we remove the snide remarks and sarcastic jabs, we can observe that our conflict is actually just a conversation of differences. In the midst of our hurt, it’s crucial that we make the effort to listen to one another. If you truly care for the person, hear their side––regardless of how brutally honest it may be. And vice versa. If a person is willing to hear you out in the midst of your frustrations then it speaks volumes about how they feel about you.
If the person truly loves you, they are for you.
So often, when I’m fighting with someone I love, it slips my mind that they actually do love me, too. As humans, we quickly place people in a framework where they are fighting with us to cause us pain. However, our conflict is simply a reminder that we’re both broken humans trying to understand each other through our frustrations. Whenever we’re fighting through an issue, I have to take the reins on my emotions, and literally say out loud, “Victoria, this person is for you. They aren’t actually against you.” Although you may not see eye to eye with someone, it doesn’t take away from the fact that you care for each other.
When arguments arise, it’s not always because someone doesn’t care; it can be because they care too much over the fact that your outlook is dissimilar to their own. In conflict, what we’re really looking for is to be understood and to be known by the person involved because we truly care about their opinion enough to fight about it. In any conflict, both parties involved are carrying wounds. Seek to hear out the other person and show compassion. Placing ourselves in the other person’s shoes will allow for us to foster empathy and a deeper understanding of who they are. Don’t give up on the relationship if the love of friendship or relationship you have is authentic. The people we love most will always be worth the fight.