5 Ways of Handling Conflict: Which one are You?

  1. Compromising: This is a healthy way to handle conflict. Both parties feel heard and are able to find a solution mutually acceptable to the both of them. In a nutshell, it’s finding a middle ground.
  2. Avoiding: This is an unhealthy way to handle conflict, although the majority of people in relationships choose to handle conflict this way. It is not addressing concerns or expressing needs. Examples include sidestepping issues, postponing issues until a “better” time, or simply withdrawing from your partner.
  3. Competing: This is an unhealthy way to handle conflict. This is pursuing your own concerns at your partner’s expense. People who are power-hungry use this mode to control people and manipulate them into getting what the competitor wants. This person uses whatever power they can to win their position. They want to “win”.
  4. Accommodating: This is an unhealthy way to handle conflict. This is the opposite of competing. This person neglects their own concerns and needs in order to please their partner or the other person. They are self-sacrificing to a degree that they only think of pleasing the other person. They neglect to realize that by accommodating the person and sacrificing themselves, they become angry and bitter towards that person, which breeds more conflict for them!
  5. Collaborating: This is a healthy way of handling conflict. This is the opposite of avoiding. It is deeper than compromise in that the partners dig into the issues to identify the true concerns of the individual. Then the partners find alternatives to the problem that satisfy both sets of concerns. The partners explore the disagreement to learn from each other’s insights. They not only solve the problem or find a compromise but talk about their difficulty in getting to that solution in order to avoid the same communication problems again.
  6. So….how do you handle conflict? If you find yourself or your partner avoiding, competing, or accommodating, give us a call. Our relationship and counseling experts can coach you and your partner in having a relationship with healthy conflict. Imagine finding solutions to your problems without hurting each other! Give us a call at 317-569-0046 or send a comment card to us. A relationship expert will be in touch with you within the business day. We are helping couples thru our successful marriage counseling in the Indianapolis area including Carmel, Fishers, and Noblesville.