The Role Of Conflicts In Relationships

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Counselling Psychologist - M.Sc. Clinical Psychology

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Counselling Psychologist - Ph.D. Relationship Psychology

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We all try to build a relationship that is peaceful and free of conflicts, however, it is important to understand the role that conflicts play in a relationship, while conflicts have the ability to damage relationships, others contribute to the overall growth and development of the parties involved and the overall relationship 

Conflicts are healthy to a certain extent, anything out of proportion is unhealthy. Constant strings of conflict and arguments leading to name-calling and blaming can not only permanently damage the relationship but also the people involved. These conflicts might take a hit on one self-esteem and sense of self. Conflicts can have various outcomes- they can end with one party being happy while the other is sad, and vice versa, both being unhappy and dissatisfied or both being happy and satisfied. 

The last outcome is the most ideal, but all conflicts don t lead to that. There are various reasons why conflicts arise in the first place and different ways in which people deal with them, which further determine the outcome. 

Ways To Deal With Conflicts Effectively 

While conflicts within themselves are not necessarily harmful, if not resolved properly, can lead to damage. People can try to resolve conflicts through some basic everyday activities. Some healthy activities include: 

  • Value Each Other And Their Opinions

Valuing people is important because you may end up hurting someone s self-confidence. Valuing the person is as important as valuing their opinions and accepting them  

  • Speak Respectfully. 

Having a disrespectful or complaining tone will lead to anything but a fruitful and effective discussion. Speaking respectfully goes hand in hand with valuing the other individual. One must have an accepting attitude when heading into such discussions 

  • Willingness to compromise

It is rather unreasonable to look for a ‘perfectly compatible’ partner where you give and receive everything without any compromises. There may be instances where your wants are not met, and vice versa. It is essential to still respect and value what the other person wishes 

  • Revisiting the past 

People often get so caught up in fights and conflicts that they refuse to acknowledge them and almost forget the good parts of the relationship. They get caught up in the bad aspects and believe that is all the relationship consists of. Revisiting the past allows the people involved to recollect the good times, the bad times and how they got out of those times 

  • Try to respond, not react 

People should make sure that even in distressing circumstances, they try to maintain their calm, and instead of reacting emotionally, listening to the other person and actually accepting what they mean would help respond to the situation in a thoughtful manner instead of emotionally reacting, which fuels the conflict

How Conflicts Can Help Couples Know Each Other Better?

There are some signs that you can look out for in your partner early in the relationship to get an idea as so how they deal with conflicts and how they might treat you during internal conflicts. You can look out for how they deal with conflicts with other people and how they treat them, if they get excessively angry or, try to bury them under the rug. These are rather ineffective to deal with conflicts and changing these habits might prove to be helpful. Conflicts allow for an increase in knowledge about your own self, your partner and your relationship. You notice the things that you like or dislike, what your partner likes or dislikes and what is ultimately the best for your relationship. Knowing all this helps the people involved to not repeat the same mistake or act again and again

What Do Conflicts Indicate Towards?

Regardless of how hard you try to avoid conflicts, they are inevitable in some way or another. And that does not indicate a bad or imbalanced relationship by any means, it simply means that you and your partner have opinions or thoughts which might occasionally clash and are not scared to express them. The number or intensity of conflicts is not as important as how the individuals involved deal with them. Unresolved conflicts can pile up over time which may lead to feelings of frustration, anger, and even resentment toward your partner. Conflicts should be dealt with effectively so everyone can move on from them. Failure to deal with them in a proper manner where the approach is not solution oriented or only one of you tries to save the relationship would indicate towards an imbalance and make you aware of your actions and what steps you should take accordingly. 

Through this, we can successfully conclude that as much as we might the idea of conflicts in a relationship and avoid them, some of them are inevitable, so it s important to learn how to deal with them effectively instead of complaining about them. Dealing effectively allows for the growth and maturation of the relationship and the people involved in the relationship. 

Ms. Priyanka Walia
Ms. Priyanka Walia M.A. Counselling Psychology Counselling Psychologist 05 years of experience

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Ms. Muskan Maheshwari
Ms. Muskan Maheshwari M.Sc. Clinical Psychology Clinical Psychologist 02 years of experience

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Mr. Nishant Sharma
Mr. Nishant Sharma M.Phil. Clinical Psychology Clinical Psychologist 07 years of experience

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Ms. Akshita Bakshi
Ms. Akshita Bakshi Ph.D. Relationship Psychology Counselling Psychologist 05 years of experience

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