Conflict Resolution Skill #4: Know What Doesn’t Work!

In the conflict resolution skill for today we learn how to share with our partner what frustrates or shuts down a discussion.  If a process or method of helping is not working it is pointless to continue to attempt to use the method.  It is very helpful to list for each other what shuts you down in conversation.  For example, nagging rarely works in relationship, nor does yelling, screaming, cursing, getting angry, throwing things, threatening divorce, stomping off, shutting down, the silent treatment, and a long list of others. Do any of these seem familiar?

Sit with your partner and assertively list what does not work for you.  This will be life-giving for your relationship since this list means that the two of you will no longer attempt to use skills that do not work.

Often someone will say “Well, it ought to work…” but that is not the point.  You are looking for what does work and so the simplest way to get to that point is to stop trying ineffective skills. Make the list of what doesn’t work and you are taking the next step toward positive conflict resolution.

Tomorrow we begin the creative process for discovering solutions.

Please feel free to leave your comments.

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