Conflict Resolution with a Loved One

Fairness, Love, Understanding, Negotiation

In This Guide:

It takes two separate individuals to create a relationship. And as much love as there might be between you, no two people think exactly alike. There will, inevitably, come a time when you don’t see eye to eye, and how you handle those conflicts could predict your relationship success in the future. Read below to learn about words that may be productive and words that might have the opposite effect when tempers flare.

They Might Be Thinking:

  • I am scared that we won't be able to figure this out.
  • I don't want to be yelled at.
  • I think he/she is not listening to my point of view.
  • What can I do to get this person to listen to my needs?
  • Should we just sleep on it?
  • I feel like I am being taken advantage of, because I am too nice.
  • I want to avoid confrontation with this person if at all possible.
  • I want to handle this in a fair and equitable manner.
  • I am holding a lot of my feelings inside to prevent a confrontation.
  • I don't know if our relationship is strong enough to handle difficult discussions.
  • I feel like I am being bullied by the other person in this conversation.
  • How do we identify all of the critical parts of the conversation before we move forward?
  • I am not sure if I understand enough about what happened to make good decisions.
  • I just wish this person could respect my point of view.
  • I wish we could stay committed to our rules of discussion.
  • This person seems to have a different version of the truth.

Words That Might Be Encouraging:

  • Focus on finding the best outcome for the two of you, instead of just fighting for your best position.
  • I am interested in finding a fair resolution to this issue.
  • I think you have every right to believe what you believe.
  • I am interested in hearing your side of the story.
  • We should be interested in finding the best way for us, not the best way for you or for me individually.
  • Make sure to give the other person a chance to explain their side of the story.
  • Try not to express disapproval while the other person is talking.
  • Don't give the other person ultimatums or directives.
  • Try to see both sides of the argument.  
  • Listen closely before you playback key messages to communicate your understanding.
  • Try to be respectful, even when the other person is not treating you the same way.
  • Make sure you both get equal time to get your point across.
  • If we treat each other with respect, we should be able to find a good solution.

Words That Might Be Discouraging:

  • I really don't care what you think.
  • I just need you to do what I say.
  • I am an adult. Please don’t treat me like a child.
  • Who made you the boss of me?
  • Where do you get off thinking you are the final authority on my life?
  • You are trying to bully me into doing what you want.
  • You never listen to my point of view.
  • If we can’t figure this out in the next 15 minutes, we need to give up.
  • You are trying to control me.
  • I don’t think this is going to work out. We just can’t seem to work through things easily.
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