Men and Women negotiate, and resolve conflict differently. Yet, when it comes to resolving conflict with the man you live with, your spouse or significant other, it’s more personal, more variables to consider, and more at stake.
Effective communication can nurture a long and strong relationship. Miscommunication may have the opposite effect. So, here are 3 Quick Communication Tips for Women when resolving conflict with your man.
#1 The Timing
Try to find a time when both of you are calm. When calm, we can think more clearly, objectively, and reasonably. If you try to resolve conflict when 1 or both parties are highly stressed or emotional, all that objective reasoning may go right out the window. Then, it may get personal. And remember, this is someone who you love, so you want to protect yourselves from being in a position where 1 person may have a ‘knee-jerk’ gut reaction response, and say something hurtful – that perhaps they wouldn’t have said if they were feeling calm and less threatened at the time.
#2 Be Direct in Asking for What You Want.
Don’t expect them to just ‘get it’. They may not understand hints, nuances, and subtlety. You need to ask for what you want and be direct about it. Watch the words you use. Don’t imply or infer. Don’t ask “could you” or “would you” and avoid saying “you should” as it may spark their reaction of ‘I’m being blamed.’ Instead, try using direct words like “will you” or “I need”. Remember, you’re partners, he wants to help and protect you.
#3 Get to the Point and Stick to the Facts.
Men are considered to be task driven and tend to do better when dealing with 1 thing at a time. Sometimes women, when resolving conflict, tend to tag on a lot of extra information. Don’t let your message get convoluted with all the ‘Reasons’ – focus on the results you want. And if your man feels bombarded with emotions, his defenses may go up. You are now asking him to fix many things – multi-task – and your message is less direct.
Stick to the facts. Facts can be understood by both parties. The emotions around the problem are not as easy to fix. Unlike facts, emotions are not clearly defined and can have many interpretations. As an example: “You make me feel . . . ” is harder to ‘fix’ than “The container needs to be repaired before pick-up this Friday”.
Of course, there are many things to consider when resolving conflict, yet I hope these 3 Tips will help my fellow Women, when it comes to resolving conflict with your man.