It is human nature to have interpersonal conflicts
Each of us is a separate individual with our own needs and wants. Anyone else is a separate individual with their own different needs and wants. Therefore, in dealing with anyone else, conflicting personal goals must arise because of our separateness.
For example, an employer may want you to work overtime to get more done without paying you more. However, you want to go home on a timely basis without any penalty.
How about the issue of commuting. You are supposed to be at work on time, but a traffic jam makes it impossible. Or, someone expresses road-rage toward you. Very stressful.
If you are in a relationship, you and your significant other are going to see things differently. If you can’t get what you want from the other person, that may lead to breaking up, which would mean divorce if you are married. The divorce rate is pretty high. Why? It is usually because we do not get what we want from the other person, our personal needs aren’t met. And on the other side, we are not able to satisfy the other person’s needs and wants. If one or the other has an affair it is quite often because needs aren’t met at home.
Do you have teen age children? Do we need to say more about different goals? Let’s just start with curfew. We have yet to meet a teenager who likes a curfew.
How about when it comes to a vacation with your spouse. One of you like beaches, the other mountains. Do you demand your way, give in, compromise, or? It’s not just what decision is reached, but how it is reached that counts. What’s important is to maintain a good relationship while addressing conflicting goals.
Unhealthy ways to deal with stress
Many of us have turned to unhealthy habits that comfort us when we have had a bad day. Let’s say a superior criticized you at work, or your car was keyed in the parking lot leaving a long scratch on it, or you faced road rage on the way home, the house was a mess when you got there, or you and your significant other totally disagree on an important issue. If we don’t have healthy ways to resolve things we typically turn to alcohol or food for comfort or spending the night web surfing. Unfortunately, those avoidance behaviors can lead to gaining weight, liver disease, and other unhealthy consequences.
Healthy ways to deal with stress
All conflicts are stressful. However, some people do handle them with grace. Ideally your parents taught you how to handle stressful situations in a warm and positive way. However, probably not. Then you are going to have to learn tools that work for yourself. Wellness Online does offer a lot of tools for you to consider that deal with handling conflicts, which in turn lead to stresses. Some may work for you.
For example, if you are tied up in a traffic jam, instead of feeling angry, take the opportunity to meditate. Seeking and finding serenity while things are going wrong, is a very healthy approach to the situation. If there is nothing you can do about a situation, and a traffic jam can be totally restricting, then find a way to accept what is happening.
Another example, if in a relationship you want the two of you to do one thing and your spouse wants to do something very different. If you cave in, you’ll feel angry. If you “win,” your spouse will feel angry.
Start at home. Start by discussing with your significant other what are healthy ways to deal with differences. It pays to be prepared by talking through how to deal with differences before they happen. Discuss how can you two can approach differences with an attitude of “we are in this together.” Take any issue. It could be as simple as eating in or eating out, or what movie to see, or how to parent your children, or taking a vacation. How about the classic he wants to have sex and she has a headache. Or… Maybe you agree that you take turns getting what you want. Or I’ll do this if you will do that. Or, think through how you can compromise so you both don’t get the ideal but you both get a little of what you want. Be creative and deal with potential conflict before the conflict arises and you get mad.
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