Monday, June 27, 2011

Conflict and Compatibility in Communication

In our last two posts, we discussed the first two most common communication problems.

The third most common communication problem is that the majority of people avoid conflict, which is actually natural and expected because conflict can indeed be stressful. Nonetheless, the reality is that life has its moments where conflict is inevitable and once we accept that, we will quickly realize that having tools to work through conflict as quickly and as efficiently as possible is our best option.
Avoiding conflict at all costs could mean bottling up feelings and needs which could lead to resentment and even illness. How many of you have not been able to sleep at night or felt your stomach turning when you encountered a particular conflict?

Learning to deal with conflict is a much better strategy than allowing your needs to go unrecognized and sabotaging a potentially great relationship with those you love or care for. Acquiring these important conflict management skills is not an indication that you are actively seeking conflict, but it is a sign that you are prepared – just as you would keep a box of band-aids in the medicine cabinet, as a precaution to accidents. In sha Allah we will be covering this most important skill in our Reviving Relationships Program.

The fourth and final most common communication problem is compatibility, which is how well two spouses ‘fit’ with each other. In his book, “the 10 Conversations you must have before You Get Married”, Dr. Guy Grenier evaluates compatibility along three different dimensions:

1) Love – understanding of couple about the realistic nature of love which is that the ‘passionate’ love at the beginning of a marriage transforms into a deeper, more mature love over time. We will also be covering the Five Languages of Love in our Reviving Relationships Program.

2) Similarity – the extent to which two people have similar beliefs, habits, goals. Alhamdullilah we spent a substantial amount of time in our Finding Love & Mercy Course: Choosing a Husband discussing this most important compatibility dimension

3) Healthy Approach to Conflict Management – having already spoken about conflict being a fact of life and learning to manage it is the best plan we have – this important skill is included here once again because a compatible, fair, and effective process to conflict management is very important between a couple.

And essentially, this is exactly what the 15 rules of Good Communication that we covered in our last Reviving Relationships Session, and which are available for you to download the MP3 File and PDF Summary of upon your registration in our Reviving Relationships program, are designed to do. Their purpose is to enable two people to exchange information in a respectful, clear, focused way that enables them to work through any conflicts. The 15 communication strategies that we spoke about were broken down into four basic categories:

i) Productive communication strategies
ii) Destructive communication strategies
iii) Anger-management strategies
iv) Long-term relationships management strategies

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