Conflict resolution. What are the keys to success with it?

Conflict resolution in our intimate relationship is not easy...by definition. Being willing to resolve conflict usually requires us to face painful emotions and most of us have been deeply conditioned to avoid a painful emotion rather than face it.

Which is a bit ironic because conflict creates painful emotions and not resolving the conflict ensures that the painful emotions continue to be felt anyway. That is, unless of course we squash our painful emotions, deny them or suppress them - by withholding what is going on for us and not expressing the associated feelings. The long term effect of doing this is well documented. It can lead to mental and physical disease within the body or mind and in my view is largely unnecessary.

Conflict resolution does not need to be as difficult as we think. Particularly when we take into consideration that conflict arises from some rather natural and fundamental causes and once these causes are seen for what they are, the conflict can be often just be dropped.


Many conflicts are created with refusal, resistance or reluctance to:

  • Observe what happened without judgment. Many times it is the evaluations and stories we tell ourselves about what happened that actually create the problem. Have you ever notice telling yourself a story about someone only to find out later that your story was COMPLETELY false and a complete waste of time.

  • Speak about what is felt about the situation. When things are difficult in an important relationship it is tempting to withhold sharing what it is we are really feeling because it can be embarrassing. Many of us don't like to admit we feel hurt by another persons' actions. We'd rather cover it up and pretend we are OK.

  • Identify the common ground between the parties. The extraordinary thing about human beings is that we all crave the same things. My short (and not complete) list includes needs for affection, for love, for touch, to be cared for, to be respected, to be seen and heard, and to be acknowledged. So many times in my counseling of couples I find that if we can get down to their  common ground the conflict will dissolve.

  • Simply make a request for what we want. Many of us have been deeply conditioned to not do this. Somehow we learned that our own needs were not as important of those around us (our parents) and so we learned to shut down and not ask for our needs to be met.

These are what I see as four fundamental keys to success with resolving conflict, and HOW these elements are used in creating and effective dialogue between two people in conflict makes ALL the difference.

Conflict Resolution help.

It is the HOW that often requires some understanding, training and /or support by a skilled facilitator mediator - as even with the best of intentions to use these elements, conflict can still result if these elements are not used appropriately.

Conflict resolution - mediation by an independent party has helped many people in conflict situations including couples on the brink of separation.

The mediation process can sometime involve initial one on one meetings followed by a joint meeting but when I work with a couple, I like to bring them together right from the first meeting so we can explore the dynamic that is causing the problem.

If you'd like to talk with someone about your situation you can call me on

+61 412988844

Or you can book a personal session by clicking here

If you'd like to develop some skills to support you and your partner in intimate relationship develop your own conflict resolution skills and you don't think you need a mediator or facilitator then I invite you to consider the Relating to Connect program.