Every couple has disagreements, but how you handle them makes all the difference in the world. Healthy conflict, for instance, can be worked out but stressful drama does not respond to the tools of conflict resolution.
Take this quiz to see how you and your partner, friend, boss, child, or parent handle differences. The quiz includes helpful guidance for handling disagreement in more positive ways. It‘s all right here:
Look at these pairs of statements. Which statement in each pair best describes the way you usually handle disagreement?
The problem is placed on the table between us, and we see it in perspective – OR - The problem becomes bigger than both of us; we are possessed by it and lose perspective.
We explore the situation – OR – We exploit the situation.
We address the issue directly - OR – We sidestep the issue or cover it up.
We express our feelings candidly, taking responsibility for them as our own, without blaming the other or feeling ashamed - OR - We use invective to dump our feelings on one another or engage in theatrical/histrionic displays meant to manipulate, intimidate, or distance the other.
We are looking for a way to keep the relationship stable, and we don’t use violence – OR - We explode, act violently, retaliate, or withdraw sullenly.
We remain focused on the present issue - OR – We use the present issue to bring up an old resentment that contaminates the present process.
The healthy-conflict statements can be used as guides for more positive ways of handling disagreement.
Adapted from How to Be An Adult in Relationships, by David Richo (Shambhala, 2002). Copyright (c) 2002 by adavid Rocho. Reprinted by permission of Shambhala.