Conflict Resolution: Giving Up is Never the Answer
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Conflict Resolution: Giving Up is Never the Answer

A conflict is an opportunity for resolution, but it can be done wrong.

The beautiful thing about a relationship is that it is an art and not a science. There is, however, a right and a wrong way to do things despite the fluid nature of a shared life between two people. The following is a guide to improving the speed and effectiveness of a conflict in a heterosexual relationship (I'm not biased; this is simply all I know). Like all advice about anything that is not a science, it should be taken with a grain of salt and even thrown out of the window if it doesn't work for you, but no matter who you are, adjustments must be made to make it applicable to you.

The first step to resolving conflicts is to understand why they exist, and most of us probably already do. The closer a couple grows, the more friction is generated between their personalities, and conflicts are a result of incompatibilities rubbing each other the wrong way. If you add in a rough day, a lack of sleep, or even a drink or two, things can take an unpleasant turn when emotions take over. When an argument or conflict erupts, there are a few mistakes we have all made a thousand times, and each of these extend the argument. Below are some things to remember no matter what your gender.

1. Never yell. Whether you're a man or woman, yelling only increases the intensity of anger and makes an argument last for hours or even days. Actually, you would be surprised how much a simple statement such as, "I'm getting very frustrated right now," calms you down and informs your partner that your emotions are bubbling inside of you (it's a great and very mature warning signal). Yelling, on the other hand, just makes life harder.

2. Allow the other party time to speak their mind, and don't be afraid to break in if you're not being given time to speak yours. Some judgment is important here. You have to be willing to step back from the argument occasionally and realize that you're talking too much. If you're the one being overridden, you're going to know it, but if the reverse is true, you should recognize that your partner keeps trying to speak, and this won't bode well if you don't let him or her. Again, both men and women have this issue.

3. Try to avoid thinking about the conflict in terms of right and wrong. Black and white standards are great for religions and the military, but they rarely work in relationships. Compromise is always necessary in order to resolve an argument, because if one person has their way, then the other is going to feel walked on. Be willing to bend in order to make it work.

4. Above all, don't give up. Don't lose patience with the conflict (men typically want to move on faster), and don't give up and just try to give the other party what they want (this is often determined by personality traits). If you quit and try to give it up, then you are sacrificing the power of resolution, because it takes the ideas of both individuals (as well as their complaints) to understand the entirety of a conflict and resolve it.

Whatever happens, remember that the best end to an argument is always to kiss and make up, then cuddle for a while.

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Comments (7)

I like your reasoning on this. Passive aggressive is never the answer. sweet communication will go much further toward a resolution. Nice write.

it is too a science - not art. Human emotions, communication and sexual relations is very scientific, and studied in almost all fields of social sciences.

Thank you, Susan!

Ryan, if you'll look up to the top of the Factoid, you can see that what I described as an art was not emotions, communication or sexual relations (the latter of which I never mentioned), but a relationship. Scientific study consists of studying and understanding single elements of these extremely broad topics, such as the effect of dopamine on mood in 22-year-old females. Even the volumes of material discovered in research on these topics does not come close to describing laws of operation in a relationship between two people, and it is this discourse with which my Factoid deals. Also, your comment that almost all social sciences study human emotions, communication, and sexual relations is abysmally false. Entire huge branches of the social sciences, such as economics, geography, law, political science, behavioral science, area studies, demography, development studies, and political economy do not deal with any of these topics; I suggest that you check your sources and read carefully before making wide and baseless assertions. Source: I graduated from NGCSU with a BS of Social Science in April of this year (this information is available on my profile). I would like to thank you, however, for providing me the idea for my next Factoid!

I really like your article. It gives me a little enlightenment on how to handle things whenever me and my husband will have our own misunderstandings. Voted! :)

A very impressive article on a subject that affects all human beings on this planet. It is a must read for all in relationships!


Very good thought that giving up never is the answere. Especially when it comes to communication my own research shows that giving up communicating is what escalates a conflict.

Good work. I'm looking forward to more interesting articles from you. =D