Stop avoiding conflict!...

Stop avoiding conflict!

Relationship Tip #5

Here’s another relationship truth for you. This one’s a doozy.
Relationship Tip #5: Stop avoiding conflict!
You’re not doing your relationship any favors by avoiding conflict. The parts of you both that need love the most can use a dose of magic. 

And the magic happens after conflict in the repair. Conflict is normal. It’s not a sign that your relationship is in trouble. However, it’s important to understand the difference between abuse and normal (but ugly) conflict. You can read more about that from me here.

Fighting, arguing, feeling dissatisfied, a tiff, the cold shoulder, bickering, sniping, being passive aggressive, the silent treatment, WHATEVER it is that you and your partner suffer through when you have friction, is triggered by “disconnection.”

And disconnection SUCKS. It sucks because it hurts! 

Disconnection pokes at your most sensitive spots. It rips into that bag o’ wounds you learned about in my last article, and then it activates your moldy old pain. So of course it makes sense that you’ll do just about anything to not feel the hurt — you’ll most likely launch a protest that makes you behave like a jerk (remember truth #3). And your jerkish behavior causes conflict.

Worse? Disconnection is inevitable in a relationship with someone who is important to you.
Behind Door #1 is your wish come true: A RELATIONSHIP WITH NO CONFLICT EVER. 
Since you’re both imperfect emotional beings living in the real world, disconnection is inevitable. Remember, the HURT from disconnection triggers conflict … SO … if you genuinely don’t hurt when you’re disconnected, the love is most surely missing. That still sound like a wish come true?

Behind Door #2 is your worst nightmare: CONFLICT. 
UGH. Your partner is upset, which makes you feel like crap. So you both protest! Your dueling bags o’ wounds are torn open. BUT wait … hold up… What if while those bags were open, you recognized how vulnerable your partner is because you’re so important to them? Could you soften and love your partner, wounds and all? And what if your partner saw your suffering underneath your protest and soothed you when you were feeling so vulnerable? 

Oh my gosh. Not only did you just survive your worst nightmare, but the vulnerable parts of you that need love the most just received some lovin’.
Moments of conflict or disconnection don’t mean there is something wrong with you or your relationship. 
In fact, they show you how much you both need each other in order to feel at ease in the world.

So fight often, but make up every time. 

You gotta learn how to see your yucky moments from an empathetic perspective (that your partner’s behaviors are a reflection of their vulnerability because you matter so much). 

And you gotta learn how to show up, make up, and love up the parts of you and your partner that really need each other! 

Take two minutes to read your Self-Discovery Report once you have taken the Empathi Quiz— knowing and accepting your vulnerability in love is an essential step toward having a successful relationship!


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Figs is the creator of the Empathi method and the certification process for Empathi coaches. He’s also Chief Empathi Officer, husband, dad, wounded-healer and was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered as a champion for healthy relationships. Figs’ life’s mission is to help couples feel more connected.

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