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Family Conflict: How to Create a Safe Environment

couple yelling at each otherYour relationship should make you feel safe and secure.  It should be the kind of relationship that encourages good communication and understanding when a conflict arises.  However, you know that things don’t always go as you would like and sometimes nasty words are exchanged and you and your partner are hurt, confused and angry.

It’s during those trying times, you need to feel comfortable enough to discuss your issues, without feeling intimidated, wronged or invisible.  How do you create an environment that allows you each to speak your minds so a compromise can be established?

You first have to set down some guidelines about fair fighting.  In other words, discuss how your fights should progress: Can you declare time out to cool down?  Must you solve the problem before going to bed?  Should you never bring up past conflicts? Is name-calling a No-No?

If you each have an understanding of what is expected, you will feel more comfortable expressing yourself, with the goal of finding some resolution to your problem.

The next thing you should do is respect your partner by listening to what is being said.  The biggest problem in relationships is feeling like you are not being heard or that your partner has an agenda and that’s all that matters.  Listen, acknowledge, understand, empathize and then speak your mind, based on what you heard and how you feel about what you heard.  Sharing with an open mind and allowing your partner to do the same is ideal, although not always easy.  By practicing a new way of communicating, you can often avoid misunderstandings and resentments, which break down the foundation of a relationship.

You will definitely feel safer and more connected to your partner when the ground rules are set, agreed upon and implemented.  Your relationship is special and you and your partner need to maintain a healthy co-existence by assuring each other respect, honor, commitment and security.






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