Zip It! Maybe Resolving Conflict ISN’T About Words

4 Aug

Communication is key. Isn’t that what we’ve all heard over and over when it comes to relationships? But, what KIND of communication is key? Verbal or non-verbal?

Turns out, non-verbal communication (actions, not words) can play a lead role in resolving conflict. Margaret Paul, PhD, who authored an article for The Huffington Post, calls this type of communication-in-confict “loving actions.” Read-on to learn more:

1. Choose to be compassionate toward yourself and your partner rather than choosing to judge yourself or your partner.

Judging yourself and your partner will always lead to more conflict. Choosing to compassionately care about yourself and your partner can totally change the energy between you, even without words. If you believe that you or your partner are bad or wrong for your feelings, behavior or point of view, then you will not be able to let go of judgment. not talking

2. Choose to practice self-discipline in terms of saying nothing rather than behaving in an inflammatory way toward your partner.

Practice zipping up your mouth! Practice letting go of having to be right! Practice walking away from a conflicted or heated situation, rather than jumping into the fray in the hopes of winning. If you look back, you will see that no one wins when both people are trying to control with anger, blame, explanations, debating, defending, lectures or compliance.

3. Choose to accept that you have no control over your partner’s feelings and behavior, but that you have total control over your own thoughts and actions.

It is much easier to let go of trying to control your partner when you move into acceptance regarding who your partner is. Trying to change your partner is a total waste of energy. Changing yourself moves you into personal power.

4. Choose to take loving care of yourself in the face of the other person’s choices.

You will find yourself wanting to talk about problems when you see yourself as a victim of your partner’s choices. However, when you accept your partner for who he or she is and accept your lack of control over your partner, you can then see your way clear toward taking loving action on your own behalf.

As a chatty-Cathy myself, it’s hard for me to control myself verbally while in confict. But, perhaps that’s the challenge. It goes right back to the words your Mother spoke: If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all!


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