HAVING GOOD DISAGREEMENTS
Disagreement is part of safe and healthy relationships. Many people worry that conflict is a sign of relationship failure. Relationships break down when communication doesn’t happen. It’s not about the fact that you disagree, it’s about how to argue.
Thinking about how to have healthy arguments is important, because this can make or break a relationship that feels good to be in. When arguments are approached with the intention to understand one another, rather than to be right, conversations will provide growth, create trust, deepen meaningful connection.
WHEN IT’S SILENT YOU’RE NOT GROWING
The couples “who never fight” don’t grow. They don’ speak their truth to avoid the risks of conflict. At the core of it, the fear is of being self-honest. The corner stone of a healthy relationship with others is a healthy relationship with You. Speaking the truth that is within you, allows you to create a stable foundation with others.
We can become caught in relationship patterns that re-enact our childhood pain. You’ll know you’re in one of these when no matter how hard you try, you can never get your needs met. We are often drawn to partners who show us what we don’t know about ourselves.
UNHEALTHY ARGUMENTS CAN BE ABOUT THE UNTOLD PAST
Family patterns, incarnational trauma, and developmental trauma play out in real time. You may have experienced a relationship where you point out your partner’s flaws, only to find that you were not aware that you do the same to a child, or a friend, or a sibling.
The best relationships are the ones where partners work to understand each others’ needs. Nobody is perfect! We are all carrying “stuff’ and it helps to be on the path to healing with each other instead of condemnation. When your goal is to heal, to grow, to progress together – relationships take on a very different tone.
IT’S NOT ABOUT HOW TO STOP ARGUING, IT’S ABOUT HOW TO ARGUE
Healthy arguments are aimed at giving rise to an understanding of the other. You will feel listened to, respected, accepted. Paradoxically, agreement is not the ultimate goal. Agreement is not necessary, in fact according to the Gottman Institute, 69% of arguments cannot be solved! (Click here to read more about the Gottman approach to solving relationship conflict).
Relationships can be complicated! You may be hard pressed to find a good relationship where people are in total agreement about everything. If you don’t know what your needs are, if you don’t know how to ask, if you can’t be clear … how can you be happy with another? When it’s good, it feels good to give.