Conflict in relationships is inevitable, but you can learn to manage it and use it to catalyze growth. One of the best ways to make conflict more productive is to prevent your immediate reactions and action urges from having too much influence on what you say and do. For example, you can feel angry, but choose not to say something hurtful. When an emotion or action urge arises, you can press pause, notice your reactions, and choose your response.
Create space between what you are responding to (such as something the other person said, your own thoughts and feelings) and your response. Examples:
Notice typical urges and reactions. Notice if you have urges to lash out or withdraw. Examples:
Notice your feelings. Notice if you are blaming or being critical of the other person or yourself. Blaming the other person only serves to feed the anger; blaming yourself can lead to feelings of guilt or shame.
Notice thinking traps. Notice if your mind falls into ineffective patterns of thinking. Examples:
What qualities do you want to bring to your relationships? How do you want to behave? What do you want to stand for? Examples: