Tired of Wasting Time Arguing? It’s Time to Break the Cycle of Conflict

Once you have a better understanding of the conflict pattern, it’s critical to know at which point of the cycle is the perfect time for you to disrupt it. Once you’ve found that perfect gateway, then you’re able to shift that energy from fighting all the way up to the mending part.   When to Disrupt the Conflict Cycle In the reactive mode, you’re both having a reaction to what just happened. Then you move into the acting out stage, where you’re no longer listening to each other because you’re also in the debate mode and you’re trying to win the argument. You’re no longer listening to understand, but you’re listening to react and prove a point. It then becomes this tennis match of who’s going to win the point on that issue. This is a good place to intervene.   Going From “We React” Mode To “We Respond” Mode  Self-awareness Calm yourself down and get a grip on yourself. Then try to ask your partner to also slow down and allow them to talk first while you listen.    This is where the break happens because it keeps you from going down that path to acting out, the withdrawal, “life is not good,” and the Cold War. It cuts out that whole bottom half of that cycle and goes right across the middle.    Active listening Acknowledge what the other person is saying to clarify things. Then infuse it with respect, which means adhering to a person’s right to their voice and the right to be heard and understood.    In the end, you may not agree, but the issue is to be understood. And when you understand each other, it lowers the intensity of your emotions and you get to stay at a nice, even place where you can work through things.    Active listening also allows you to hear things from your partner’s perspective, which you might not have listened to before, and now, you get to clarify things.    If we can accept the fact that we have flaws and our partner has flaws, and own up to our own flaws, that tees things up for the “we repair” part.   “We Repair” In some cases, someone’s going to have to own a large percentage of what happened. Mutual ownership is key even if one person is 90%. This is very powerful because it takes you into the mending part, which is the next phase of the conflict cycle. Now, the duration of the mending part can go rather quickly when there’s been efficient ownership on both sides.  If you want to learn more about disrupting the cycle of argument, check out https://www.donolund.com/trg007