In this episode of Relationship Truth, Unfiltered, Leslie discusses why conflict doesn’t have to be a negative part of relationships. She’ll address some of the hard parts of disagreements and how to fight fair.
Chapter 1 (2:10): How do you keep conflict from escalating?
Talk first about how you can talk about a topic and have both people feel safe. Talk about the way you deal with problems so that issue can be dealt with first.
Chapter 2 (3:29) When do you stop talking about the past?
It depends. If someone isn’t over the past then it’s time to ask curious questions. “This is really bothering you and you keep bringing it up. What’s that about? I’m curious.”
You have to be committed to how you’re going to show up in a conflict. You can only keep your side of the street…you cannot control how they show up in a conflict. Decide to show up in a respectful, curious, and generous way. If you do this it can’t deteriorate because it takes two to deteriorate. If he chooses to be destructive then the conversation is over.
Chapter 3 (6:30) Questions to ask yourselves Have you ever had a time in your relationship where you worked on a problem in a positive way? What was it you did right? How did you work on it together? Learn from that.
Chapter 4: (7:50) How do you deal with someone who just doesn’t want to “give in?”
What would be different if you just accepted this? For whatever reason he’s done being passive, being accommodating?
Accept his point of view and decide on how to solve the issue at hand.
Maybe, if it’s something that is just important to you, figure out how you can make it happen with a good spirit.
Chapter 5 (13:45) - What if you have someone who won’t deal with conflict and withdraws?
There are people who are conflict avoidant, possibly because of their background and negative history of conflict.
Deal with that fact, first. Deal with how your relational history has been negative in this area. Ask how he would feel safe talking about this. There are many ways to create safety. As examples, you can set time limits or simply share points of view without trying to solve the problem first.
Chapter 6 (16:30) How do you keep to the topic?
Know yourself and what you need out of the conversation. Be self-aware about how you deal with the topic and decide that you will not go off topic. Again, you can only control you. But you can help your partner to know that you’ll keep to the topic and that will help create safety.
Chapter 7 (19:55) How do you handle when someone doesn’t follow through with promises?
Be careful of the story you tell yourself. Instead, look for overall patterns. It’s tempting to tell yourself “he doesn’t care about me” when that may not be true at all. We have to be careful of the story you tell yourself when your husband isn’t reliable. You can, instead, ask a question… “I’ve noticed a pattern where you commit to things and don’t follow through. What’s that about?” Or, approach it by saying, “I know that you tend to make me happy by saying ‘yes’ in the moment. I’d really invite you to be honest with me. If you don’t want to do something, for whatever reason, tell me so we can figure out something you can follow through on.”
Chapter 8 (23:00) How do you deal with gaslighting?
Gaslighting is when someone distorts or lies about the truth with the goal of making you feel crazy or confused.
It’s important for you to decide “how do I want to show up for me?” If you’re starting to question your own mind, take notes. This helps you, at least, to know the reality. Also, look for the pattern…if this is happening a lot, you know gaslighting is going on.
Chapter 9 (27:58) How to handle yelling
Most people, when they’re angry, have a change of voice tone. You want to be clear, with your tone, that you mean business. When you’re angry, tone and posture naturally changes.
What’s really important is the words. If you’re name calling and abusive speech, attacking, accusing, and reviling, that’s the problem, whether the words are being yelled or not.
You have to find your own boundary around this but you don’t have to be a willing victim.
Chapter 10 (31:00) Dealing with the passive aggressive person
You can’t change someone else. Understand the limitations of a relationship when you’re dealing with someone who won’t look at himself (or herself). Growth in that type of relationship is impossible. In order to grow, you have to look at yourself, especially when you fail.
Maybe you can say, “I sense you’re trying to tell me you’re angry, in very soft ways. Do you want to talk about it?” You’re inviting them to grow and they get to decide.
Chapter 11 (33:53 )When does conflict cross the line from normal marriage conflict to a destructive nature?
Are there patterns of abuse, deceit, or indifference? Understand that God doesn’t expect you to be in a relationship who is out to destroy you.