Four Powerful Actions to Resolve your differences in Your Most Important Relationships Four Powerful Actions to Resolve your differences in Your Most Important Relationships Four Powerful Actions to Resolve your differences in Your Most Important Relationships Michele Hart Law

Date: August 2, 2023 | Author: Michele Hart

Relationships truly matter.  As a family lawyer for almost 25 years, I have a regular front row seat to what appears to be hopeless disconnection between spouses and co-parents.  Part of what I do is help bring co-parents together to make important decisions for their children.

Just as we might keep our bodies healthy with diet and exercise, it’s equally – if not more important – to develop and nurture our personal relationships that are so essential for our well-being.

Unfortunately we’re not always good at relating to the people closest to us.  When differences inevitably arise in our most important relationships, we might unknowingly act in ways that can cause the relationship to suffer dramatically.

Here are 4 powerful actions to resolve your differences to deepen your most important relationships:

1.        Focus on the health and well-being of the relationship over individual preferences or desires.

In other words, set an intention to make the relationship more important than who’s right or wrong.  Then make your actions consistent with your intention.

Part of this is learning how to pull out of our automatic knee-jerk emotional reactions and settle into choosing the response in that moment that will build connection for the benefit of the relationship.

While it can be difficult, it takes becoming aware when we’ve been taken over or hijacked by a powerful emotion.  Even if you don’t realize it until later, you can always come back and own your reaction by acknowledging its effect on the other person.

2.        Bring your best.

We certainly don’t always feel our best physically.  Lack of sleep, a particularly sugary diet, or dehydration can really mess with our moods.  Generally, the better we feel physically, the more we can bring to our relationships.  Regular exercise, enough sleep and even a moderately healthy diet can make a big difference in how we show up each day by minimizing stress.  We cannot relate socially when we are under stress.

3.        Consider the basic differences between men and women that most often lead to conflict.  While we all have a deep need to be heard and understood, generally speaking:

  • Women want empathy and often just want someone to sincerely listen; men usually offer solutions to problems as the best way to be helpful, which women often interpret as discounting and invalidating their feelings.
  • Men are motivated when they feel needed and respected.  When a woman tries to change a man or give advice or criticize him, a man hears that he is being told he is incompetent or doesn’t know how to do something or can’t do something on his own; women are motivated when they feel special or cherished.

Understanding these basic differences can help us take things less personally.

4.        Put yourself in their shoes.

 You might ask how does the other person view the situation?  What’s important to them?  What are they experiencing?  Do they feel angry or hurt?  Why?

And as you listen carefully to the answers, you will learn where the other person is coming from.  By asking and listening, you can achieve the ultimate reward of generating mutual solutions while deepening personal connection with those most important to you.

Even when you do get sucked into a particular conflict with someone, you can always clean it up and begin again.

After all, when your partner or someone close to you is unhappy, it’s to your benefit to make them happy.  But most importantly, you will have made a giant stride toward deep connection and greater understanding in your most important relationships.

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