(Via JasonandTori.com) – Conflict in relationship is God’s way of making us more like Him. While it may be uncomfortable, it’s the only way our rough edges can be smoothed out.
Conflict can either lead to gridlock or gratitude. It all depends on what we choose to do when it takes place.
When conflict arises you have one of two choices – you can REACT or you can RESPOND.
If you react to conflict your actions are immediate, you’re fueled by the subconscious, you take no responsibility for your part, you have low empathy, and you seek to be understood. This will only lead to GRIDLOCK as each of you hunker down and hold your position.
If you respond to conflict you are patient, you think deeply before you speak, you take responsibility for your part, you put yourself in your spouse’s shoes, and you seek to understand your spouse’s point of view. This will lead to GRATITUDE as you recognize the value of conflict and how personal and relational growth is impossible without a struggle.
So rather than running from conflict, embrace it so that it works for you rather than against you. Respond, don’t react, and watch how you will ultimately be closer to each other than you were before the fight ever took place.
One Word That Changes Everything
A sure-fire way to start a fight is to begin with the word “You.”
“You never come home on time.” “You talk down at me.” “You lose your temper too much.”
Starting with the word “You” puts your spouse in a defensive position.
If a fight can be triggered by the word “You,” it can be disarmed by the word “I.”
“I feel anxious when you’re late – I love when you’re home with me.” “I feel hurt when you speak to me that way.” “I miss your smile when you get upset.”
Starting with the word “I” disarms your spouse and puts him/her on your team. It puts them in a position to help you emotionally rather than defend themselves personally.
The next time you and your spouse find yourself frustrated at each other, start with the word “I” and watch how the mood of your discussion will slowly begin to change.
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