8 Fundamental principles for resolving a conflict

Love   ›   Being in a relationship  ›   8 Fundamental principles for resolving a conflict

A problem between two people can rarely be settled by just one of them: resolving a quarrel or misunderstanding always requires efforts from both. Here are some fundamental principles to give yourself the best possible chance.

Don’t feed your frustration. 

By brooding over the situation, you’ll just feed your anger. Then when it’s time to talk, you risk saying things that you’ll regret later.


Choose the right time to raise the topic.

Make sure you have enough time to talk and choose a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. If you’re not comfortable talking, you can write too – that’s often easier.


Each of you has some work to do. 

When you have a conflict, don’t forget that both of you need to look for solutions. Do you both have room to express yourselves and be heard? Is the solution the two of you found realistic? Could it solve the problem effectively? Together, choose the solution you like best and agree on how to apply it.


Reconsider your attitudes and behaviors. 

It’s not always the other person’s fault! Admitting your own faults right away will often make the other person more willing to listen with an open mind.


Respect the other person’s different opinions. 

The important thing isn’t to agree about everything, it’s to make sure that both of you feel respected and are able to express yourselves.


Remain open-minded

Throughout the discussion, use “I” and avoid judging or blaming the other person. He/she will be less defensive and more apt to treat you the way you’re treating him/her: respectfully.


Prove that you’re trustworthy

Respect your commitments and honouring your word and… be patient! Sometimes, we can’t find an answer right away. In that case, the best thing is to wait, let things settle down, think things over, and try to find new solutions.


Ask for help

If the conflict is tainted with violence or seems like bullying, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Your teachers, parents, or Tel-jeunes can help you.

How Do I Handle Conflict in a Relationship? [French only]