How to stop fighting … and start to conflict? part 1

Do you think fighting is bad for a relationship? To understand if this is so, first let’s figure out what a quarrel is.

A quarrel is a hard conversation, swearing, or a prolonged deterioration in a relationship when we do not talk for a long time or sulk. This is the way that many people try in vain to resolve conflicts.

What is conflict? This is a clash of interests, a disagreement between people. It does not necessarily lead to a fight, and it is not bad in itself. Conflicts have been, are and will always be, as long as you are living people, not robots, they arise simply because we are different and we tend to want different things.

What your interaction will be like and where the disagreement will eventually lead is up to you. Moreover, any conflict can be made not a source of problems, but on the contrary – a source of creativity and a tool for strengthening the family.

Sounds unrealistic? No, if you understand what makes the conflict constructive, that is, developing, and what makes it destructive, that is, negatively affecting your relationship.

Let me give you an example. The fact that you are a vegetarian and your husband adores meat is not a problem in itself. This can lead to a conflict of interest if, say, you have to cook twice as much. But the conflict can be resolved to the satisfaction of both partners, or it can be made a reason for a quarrel or other type of non-constructive behavior.

Non-constructive ways to resolve conflicts

Fight. This is when you focus on your own interests, and ignore the needs of your partner. When both are in the mood to fight, they often quarrel. (“I want meat!” “I don’t want it in my fridge!”)

The device. You do not take into account your interests, but give in to your partner (“since you want a steak, I will cook two dishes for every lunch and dinner” – and nothing that you will spend your personal time on this).

Escape. You do not solve the conflict, that is, both your interests and the interests of your partner suffer (we go to another room, stop talking, go to mom and stop discussing the issue or even chatting).

Compromise. You partially consider your interests, and partially – the interests of your partner, but neither of you is completely satisfied. (With meals, this can be an option where you alternate between meals with and without meat.) This is already progress, because at least some needs are satisfied, and you move towards each other.

But it’s still a half-hearted solution (in the nutrition solution, it turns out that each of you eats not what he likes half the time).


Some psychologists consider quarrels and struggles to be one of the ways to avoid conflicts, because the quarrel does not move the contradiction off the dead center, but as if fixes it in the same place.

And this is true: usually after a quarrel, the conflict situation does not change. A quarrel can only become an indicator for you that “something went wrong,” and in this sense it will be useful.

For the rest, a quarrel takes away strength, kills intimacy, provokes both partners to demonstrate their worst qualities, and hurts. It is very easy to get personal in a quarrel, and then you will soon forget about its cause. And then, when you make peace, it will be difficult to forget what you and you said.

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