How to Resolve Conflict In Relationships

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resolve conflict

If you struggle with knowing how to resolve conflict in your relationship, tune in to this episode with Kimberly Holmes!

Kimberly Beam Holmes specializes in helping couples resolve conflict. She has a master’s degree in psychology, and over the past 10 years, has been the CEO of Marriage Helper and CEO and host of her podcast It Starts with Attraction. She’s a wife and mother, researching the ways that attraction affects people personally and the relationships they hold dear.

In this episode of Last First Date Radio:

  • What’s good about fighting
  • The top three things people fight about most
  • Why people fight
  • How to resolve conflict and fight fairly
  • How to get calm and identify what’s going on for you
  • Why it’s important to sometimes agree to disagree

EP 498: Kimberly Holmes – How to Resolve Conflict In Relationships

What’s good about fighting?

There are benefits to conflict. How you engage in conflict matters. It doesn’t mean the relationship is broken. Choose how you engage. Turn towards, away, or against. Those are our choices. 

What are the top things that people fight about?

In romantic relationships, people fight about finances, future dreams, feeling unappreciated or unheard. People fight about things that make them feel disrespected, unliked, and unloved.

Sixty nine percent of conflict will never get on the same page. The goal is compromise and understanding. The other thirty one percent, you can resolve. You may not fully agree, but you can have a check in with expectations.

Why do we fight?

It’s about the stories we tell ourselves about what happened. With chores, for my husband, the story I tell myself is, “he doesn’t’ appreciate that I’m working so hard. He’d say, he doesn’t feel appreciated for what he does do. 

How can a couple resolve conflict and fight fairly?

I have to ask myself, “What is my core need?” It’s that he’s on my team and I need a reminder for that. And I have been doing more laundry. Say it in a way that’s productive, not destructive.

If I say, “I need your help right now emotionally because I’m overwhelmed. Here’s what I need from you.” “It would really help if you can pick up the laundry this week.” 

People respond so much better when they feel appreciated.

How can people calm down and get clear on what’s going on for them?

First stop and breathe before saying anything. 

Google the feelings or emotions wheel. It has the eight biggest emotions on the outside and then breaks them down further into emotions connected to those feelings. 

  • Figure out what your emotion is.
  • Then ask yourself why you feel that way. It may take time to feel into why you feel that way.
  • There’s always some kind of pain underlying the emotion. 
  • What’s the story you’re telling yourself? 
  • What do you need?
  • Listen as well as you’re speaking and want to be heard.

Reframe conflict: It’s not that I just don’t want to have a fight to I care so much about this relationship, that it’s more important to work it out now.

“Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind.” Brene Brown

You say sometimes you have to agree to disagree. What do you mean by that? 

If sixty-nine percent of conflict is not able to be resolved, what can you do? During the pandemic, many people would not agree to disagree about things. Relationships ended. It’s so much healthier for us to have our own values and stay true to them, but respect the other person’s differences and don’t treat them as inferior because they think differently. Don’t try to change each other. 

What are your final words of advice for anyone who wants to go on their last first date?

Lean into asking yourself the question, “what am I doing to be the best me I can be”, instead of focusing on whether the other person is going to like you. 

Watch this episode on YouTube

Connect with Kimberly: Instagram:  Her podcast: It starts with attraction

Please subscribe/rate and review the podcast on Apple Podcasts

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