student love tip: manage your conflict

This is a Student Love Tip by Shelley Wallace

Many times people will become defensive when their partners try to give them constructive criticism. Being defensive can include habitual reactions, such as excuses, whining, shifting blame, or countering with criticism of your own. Acting defensively just makes the conflict worse. Your partner could get worked up or angry. He or she will probably think that you are guilty because you are trying to defend yourself so much. To prevent yourself from acting defensively take a couple deep breathes and calm yourself down before reacting to what your partner has just said. For example, many times I tend to respond in a whiney voice right after my boyfriend gives me some sort of criticism. Realizing that I do this, I now try to think before I respond back to him. Try to speak non-defensively by being aware of your body language. Try not to point your finger, roll your eyes, or throw your arms up in the air. You should also avoid letting your complaints lead to negative criticism or contempt. Signs of this can include insults, name calling, or using the words “always” and “never” (i.e. I always cook dinner for you, and you never even clean the dishes.). But remember, conflict can be a good thing if handled correctly, so work on these things to help better manage your conflict.

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1 comment:

cognitive.distortion said...

I really need to practice these things!!!

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