Is Your Reaction to Conflict Destroying Your Relationship?

conflict in your relationship Ask yourself, when in conflict: Does your pulse race and your heart pound? Do you talk over the other person? Do you turn trivial things into causes for battle? Is winning your ultimate goal? If your answer to some of these questions was, “Yes, that sounds just like me!” you’re probably a reactive person.

If you’re a reactive person, your partner may begin to think of you as a time bomb of rage just ready to explode and he or she has to walk on eggshells around you or risk getting hit by shrapnel. If both you and your partner are reactive, conversations easily turn into shouting matches. Either way, your relationship becomes a war zone and communication stops. Without communication, conflict will never be resolved and the situation will never improve.

Safely assuming you don’t live in a cave and need to run from lions, it’s time you turn your reactive responses into mindful ones.

When you feel threatened, your body’s fight-or-flight response is triggered. You become flooded with stress hormones and the reasoning part of your brain, the neocortex, shuts down. This reactivity was incredibly useful to your ancestors, who needed to run from wild animals and protect their caves from aggressive neighbors. It’s not so useful to you when the threat is your angry wife or passive-aggressive boyfriend.

Your partner says something critical and instead of responding rationally or thoughtfully, you attack. By responding to conflict reactively, you leap to an emotional conclusion. You let the other person determine your response and behavior. Being triggered can stop your ability to regulate yourself and being unable to regulate yourself is the end of communication and intimacy.

When you’re reactive, you enter “automatic pilot” mode. You stop being conscious of your words, tone of voice, or body language. Instead of recognizing that the other person is someone you loved and cared for just an hour ago, you want to shut him or her down, you want to make him or her the problem. You want to win…

If you’re a reactive person, your partner may begin to think of you as a time bomb of rage just ready to explode and he or she has to walk on eggshells around you or risk getting hit by shrapnel. If both you and your partner are reactive, conversations easily turn into shouting matches. Either way, your relationship becomes a war zone and communication stops. Without communication, conflict will never be resolved and the situation will never improve.

Safely assuming you don’t live in a cave and need to run from lions, it’s time you turn your reactive responses into mindful ones.

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2017-02-07T15:17:22+00:00