I’ve been thinking for a couple of days about how to put my thoughts into words. I love my husband dearly but we’ve had a week or two of repeatedly not hearing one another. Sometimes it we honestly just did not hear what the other person said. Either one of us was not in the same room and couldn’t see that the other person was busy or the other person was busy and didn’t pay attention. Either way, we didn’t hear each other. Then there’s the other situation. We heard each other, but the listener didn’t really hear what the speaker was saying. That’s also happened several times this week. Men and women are different in their perception of situations. We know that. Yet it has still caused conflict. This morning I came across this blog post which “hit the nail on the head” when it comes to conflict. See what you think.
Am I trying to prove or improve? That’s the question. In other words, is my desire in this conflict to prove that I am right or to improve the relationship at hand?
When I try to prove I am right, I use the circumstances of the conflict as an arsenal to attack the other person. I come armed with past hurts and offenses ready to state my case. I’m tempted to tear down the other person. I react from a place of hurt and anger and can often say things I later regret.
On the other hand, when my desire is to improve the relationship, I seek to understand where the other person is coming from and I care enough about the relationship to fight for it rather than against it.Instead of reacting out of anger, I pause and let the Holy Spirit interrupt my first impulses. I tackle the issues, not the person.
Here are some great questions to ask when we’re dealing with conflict out of a desire to improve a relationship:
• Can you help me understand why you feel this way?
• Why don’t we both agree to stick to the issue at hand and not pull in past issues?
• What is your desired outcome in this situation?
• How can we meet in the middle on this issue?
My husband I have renamed what we used to call “fights.” We now call them “growth opportunities.” And the more we’ve been practicing these principles, the less conflicts we’ve been having.
But I won’t tie this devotion up in a neat holiday bow and end all “cheerio.” While Art and I are doing great right now and have had very few “growth opportunities” lately, conflicts with others seem to always be around the corner. So please hear my heart, I’m not saying all of this is easy. Just this week I’ve had to tackle some growth opportunities that made me feel like I had fire crackers burning through my veins.
Maybe you can relate.
You can find the post in it’s entirety here (in)courage Conflict Post
Can you relate?