When conflict arises in a relationship, both people often feel that their partner is trying to hurt them.
Instead it is better to assume underlying good intentions, because that is what is actually going on.
In most cases, the intention during conflict is not to create hurt, but rather to create closeness, even though the partner might not be going about it in a productive or healthy way.
For example, take a wife who’s criticizing her husband.
It might seem that she wants to hurt or wound him in retaliation for whatever he’s doing to her. But in reality, criticism is often a way to try to be heard and understood, and to try to correct the unhappiness that is being experienced in the relationship.
In another example, let’s consider a couple in a moment of an argument, where one partner is angry at another for not giving the time or attention that he or she wants. The underlying issue below the anger is the desire to be close.
Think about how shifting to this context of good intentions might change the way you handle conflict. If you viewed conflict as a sign that your partner wants more good feelings between you, would you tend to react as negatively as if you thought your partner just wanted to hurt you? Likely not.
To keep the good intentions context in place during conflict, try this:
Say to yourself, “No matter what is happening right now, I know he (she) cares about me. I trust that his (her) intentions are good. We will find a way to work this out.”
[stextbox id=”red_box”]I often coach couples to understand and resolve conflict, so they can find their way back to feeling good about each other again.
Give your relationship the advantage of being guided by an experienced coach committed to helping both of you. Start by setting up a Get Clarity Telephone Coaching Session and start creating the relationship you want![/stextbox]