Conflict Resolution Skill #3: Be Assertive!

The conflict resolution skill for today requires strength and honesty, because in this skill each partner must assertively take responsibility for their individual part in a conflict.

In practical terms this involves telling the other how you help to make a situation a conflict. This process may be painful since it demands vulnerability on the part of the talker, and empathy on the part of the listener.

I often attempt to project the blame for a conflict on my wife and take my part of the conflict as being the absolute truth. When I will honestly admit how I help create a conflict, defensiveness goes down and cooperation goes up.

For example: I struggle with a desire to be on time. Perfection for me is to arrive at an event exactly on time; not a second too soon, not too late–on time. I recognize this as a compulsion on my part, but I have allowed my compulsion to affect our relationship by blaming Beth for “being slow”. The effect of this behavior is conflict.

When I openly admit to my discomfort with time, and think a positive thought that Beth is not purposefully attempting to “make us be late” then we can cooperate more fully.  She is aware of my “time issue” and as I share assertively about my issue the conflict is easier to solve. We have come up with many unique ways to arrive at events, or postpone arriving that help me with my issue!

What issue do you need to be assertive in sharing with your partner today?

Would you tell me about it in the comments?

Thanks for reading.


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