Tonight is a New Moon. This symbolises change, transformation and new beginnings. If you struggle with managing conflict effectively in your relationship, this is the perfect time to think about changing that!
To help you with this, I want you to think of the last argument you and your partner had.
- Did you really get to say what you wanted, in the way that you wanted?
- Did you feel heard?
- Were you able to take on board what your partner was saying?
- Did you understand where they were coming from?
- Did they seem to understand where you were coming from?
- Was it constructive?
- Did you come away feeling more positive, closer to your partner, and with a clear way forward as a result?
- Were you unable to think clearly, let alone express yourself clearly and articulately?
- Did you both end up shouting and talking over each other?
- Did you feel that your partner wasn’t listening to you?
- Rather than actually listening, you were only waiting for your partner to finish speaking so that you could then say what you wanted to say?
- Did you struggle to make sense of where your partner was coming from (and if you’re honest, did you even try)?
- Was it an unhelpful, destructive series of insults or verbal attacks?
- Did you come away feeling negative, hurt and frustrated, with no real feeling of resolution?
When we are emotionally aroused, a number of things happen which can make constructive, compassionate conflict resolution virtually impossible. When we feel attacked, we instinctively revert back to our reptilian brains. This means that we become completely consumed with our own best interests, and in defending our own position. We basically block out our partner’s responses if they don’t fit in with what we want. When you are in this mode, as far as you are concerned, you are right and your partner is wrong.
And guess what? Your partner feels exactly the same! So it’s no wonder that couples clash from time to time!
When we have allowed things to escalate into an argument, it might feel very confrontational, but it is actually a way of AVOIDING real communication.
Because blocking out your partner’s thoughts and feelings by becoming defensive, and verbally attacking them or withdrawing from them, means that you are not facing the possibility that their perspective might have some validity. That there might be a grain of truth in what they are saying.
To remain open to your partner when you are feeling angry and triggered by them can feel humiliating and vulnerable. It is so challenging because it goes against all our instincts which have developed over millions of years!
You might also worry that an acceptance of your partner’s feelings might indicate to them that you agree with them when you don’t, or somehow prove that you were “wrong” and they were “right”.
The truth is, when it comes to feelings, you are BOTH right.
Feelings are truths.
Nobody can tell you what you are feeling, or tell you that you aren’t feeling something, or shouldn’t feel a certain way – not even you!
We might still react from our old, reptilian brains in a conflict situation, but Nature also teaches us that communication can be extremely subtle, and that all things in Nature work together collaboratively. In fact Nature initiates huge changes through communication and collaboration with all its elements which is so subtle, that we can’t see or hear it – we can only experience its effects. Just think about how the moon controls the tides, or how the seasons change.
And you actually have the power to change, and to communicate in the way that you both want!
Here is something that, if you take this on board, can TRANSFORM the way you communicate:-
If you both accept that both of your feelings are valid, and that there is some validity in both of your perspectives, you are 80% of the way to resolving conflict compassionately, constructively and lovingly.
Want to know how?
If you would like my expert support to learn the EXACT techniques and steps to resolve conflict effectively without hurt, anger and frustration, you can now sign up for my brand new Compassionate Conflict for Couples E-Course. At just £99 it is incredible value for at least 8 hours of coaching taking place over 4 weeks in the comfort of your own home, through videos, exercises and worksheets. And as an extra special gift for signing up, the first 10 people will receive a bonus 1:1 coaching call with me, absolutely FREE! These places will go fast and are strictly on a first-come, first-served basis so sign up NOW to avoid disappointment.
If you would like any further information about this course, or have anything else that you would like help with, I would be delighted to hear from you. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.