Healthy bonds rely on communication. If there is an issue, it can be helpful to talk through relationship problems. Discussion is key, but when individuals are upset, they may accuse and blame. Both parties need to be honest with each other and listen, truly listen, for the issue to be resolved.
Communicating effectively doesn’t always come naturally. If an individual did not have good examples of how to communicate in a constructive way growing up, if their parents were prone to angry outbursts for example, they may find themselves responding in anger to their adult relationship problems. But, it is possible to change habits. Connect with a professional through a telephone coaching session and learn how to connect in productive, positive ways.
Talk In a Neutral Environment
In order to navigate a disagreement productively, the environment must be neutral. A space that people can feel open to sharing different perspectives and ideas. When someone feels comfortable and safe, it can help them to be clear about what is bothering them.
It is common for people to avoid or evade issues. If they haven’t learned how to be direct, they may find themselves confronting another, but about another issue entirely. Or, they may avoid the problem completely, pouting and shutting down, rather than discussing the issue itself.
Remember private conversations need to happen privately. A disagreement between individuals is not anyone else’s concern. So, do not disagree at a family member’s house, for example. That is not a neutral environment, family ties can heighten emotions and if anyone outside of the relationship offers an opinion on the issue, it can make things more complicated.
Relationships Take Two
Disagreements are not one-sided events. The person you have an issue with likely does not feel they are entirely at fault. Relationship problems can only be solved when both parties are open to hearing how they are possibly part of the problem. For healing to begin, both parties need to accept some of the responsibility.
Because relationships rely on open communication, it also needs to be recognized that relationship problems can only be solved if the other person in the relationship is open to change. Empathy is part of the process, listen to one another’s concerns.
Give Time to Relationship Problems
Ignoring issues will not solve the problem. Instead, approach problems with care. Let the other party know you care about them, that you care enough to put the time in to create a healthy solution. Talking through problems is the mature approach.
Disputes are inevitable when relationships grow over time. Do not be hard on yourself because you have a relationship problem. Instead, use the opportunity to evolve. Listen to others and listen to yourself. Learn communication strategies with the help of a personal coach. Life improvement is possible, at every age.
Kendall Van Blarcom is a senior helping seniors. Contact Van Blarcom Consulting today for help with your personal problems. Or, reach out to provide support for an older adult in your life.