Can Conflict be an Opportunity?
By: Ziva Avramovich, LCSW, CIRT
“Conflict is a friend! It is growth trying to happen it is “maturity”knocking at the door inviting us: Come , flourish, expand, prosper.” Hedy Schleifer
Conflict is a normal part of any healthy committed relationship. After all, two people can’t agree on everything all of the time. Learning how to deal with conflict is crucial. Sometimes differences may seem trivial but when conflict does take place, strong feelings are triggered lead to an intense, even ugly, situation. As a result, some couples attempt to avoid conflict completely or simply “sweep it under the rug.” A new way to look at solving conflict in a relationship is to view it as an opportunity to build trust and to feel more secure knowing that your relationship can survive challenges and disagreements.
Imago relationship therapy turns conflict on its head. In such a mindset, conflict is viewed as an answer, not a problem. When conflict happens and triggers strong emotions, and you are reacting in an irrational way. This is a clue that under the visible surface exists a deeper emotional content that needs to be explored. Imago relationship therapy helps couples learn more about their partner’s emotional history, the underlying reasons for behavior that may arise in conflict.
In the process of work, couples understand why their partners are really upset and how their needs make sense in the context of their past.
Conflict over open toothpaste on the counter can lead to exploration of childhood trauma of neglect in the family of origin. The couple gets a chance to complete unfinished business of childhood and as a result, have their real needs met in a way that creates safety and intimacy.
If you see conflict as an opportunity
- Encourage one another to think about the underlying needs of the argument
- You can get to know your partner as well as yourself and create greater intimacy.
- Instead of dreading the next conflict, welcome it.
Call the Center for Psychological Effectiveness for more information.
Ziva Avramovich LCSW
Certified Imago Relationship Therapist