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Understanding the Impact of Conflict Resolution Strategies on Relationship Quality

Why is it so important for partners to resolve conflicts in positive ways?

Conflict resolution might be challenging, primarily due to the need for proper communication between individuals. Partners should resolve their conflicts positively to maintain quality and healthy relationships. They should identify the most appropriate strategies for handling differences to ensure sanity and quality outcomes. Solving disputes positively is vital for partners since it strengthens their relationship (Lamanna et al., 2020). The move enables the parties to express themselves and reach a middle ground for the problem. Positive conflict resolution techniques allow partners to build trust since they freely share their feelings and opinions.

Consequently, the individuals achieve satisfaction and may be willing to solve other problems amicably. Partners should adopt positive strategies to solve conflicts to counter the risk of breakups. According to Lamanna et al. (2020), positive conflict resolution encourages respect, affirmation of each other’s worth, and support, reducing the risk of breakups. Couples should embrace positive conflict resolution strategies to maintain healthy relationships.

How may Gottman’s “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” be avoided? Give specific examples.

While many relationships may entail Gottman’s “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,” healthy relationships avoid them due to the adverse outcomes they are likely to cause during conflict resolution. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse include criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling (Lamanna et al., 2020). Individuals can avoid criticism by approaching conflicts with a gentle start-up without complaining or blaming the other party. They should understand that conflicts exist and individuals have different thought processes and ideas. For instance, instead of “you” statements, one should use “I” to avoid blaming or invalidating the other party. Defensiveness involves making excuses and denying responsibility. To avoid defensiveness, individuals should take responsibility for their actions and try to focus on the problem rather than defending themselves. They should also recognize when their partner is trying to solve a problem and be willing to listen and work together to find a solution.

Individuals can avoid contempt by acknowledging the other party’s positive qualities. The move encourages gratitude and prevents belittling one’s partner’s actions and ideas. For example, one should describe their feeling by stating that they would appreciate it if the partner cleaned the house instead of shouting and rolling their eyes. Partners can avoid defensiveness by taking responsibility. For instance, one can accept responsibility for incomplete house chores instead of blaming their partner. Further, partners can avoid stonewalling by taking steps to soothe themselves physiologically. For example, one can excuse themselves from taking time off from the argument to calm down.

Discuss the importance of each of the ten guidelines for working through conflicts in positive ways.

The ten guidelines for positive conflict resolution are essential in maintaining and strengthening relationships between partners and families. First, expressing anger with kindness prevents an escalation of the conflict. Second, checking one’s interpretation of other people’s behavior helps avoid unnecessary hurt feelings (Lamanna et al., 2020). Third, using “I” statements helps avoid attacks since such utterances may encourage blame. Fourth, avoiding mixed messages is essential in preventing contradictions, which may promote conflicts. Fifth, choosing the time and place for conflicts carefully ensures that each party is ready and comfortable for the argument.

Sixth, being specific in addressing issues and being ready to compromise is vital in helping individuals reach agreements quickly. Seventh, willingness to change is essential in conflict resolution since it encourages individuals to identify their misdoings and adopt reliable behavior. Eighth, avoiding the need to be the winner helps individuals solve the problem amicably by avoiding the blame game. Ninth, willingness to forgive helps solve conflicts quickly since it encourages individuals to admit their misdoings and ask for forgiveness. Lastly, ending the argument is important in allowing the parties to re-examine the need for the conflict and achieve satisfaction.

How does a person’s family of origin and how conflicts were handled affect current relationships? Is it possible to develop new patterns?

One’s family of origin and conflict resolution strategies could significantly impact an individual’s current relationship and how they handle conflicts. The individual adopts the family’s behavior and conflict resolution techniques as they grow up, prompting them to apply similar strategies in adulthood. Some individuals may avoid conflict resolution since they learn that one does not need to deal with the problems and achieve an agreement. Lamanna et al. (2020) state that unresolved parental conflicts significantly affect children. The outcomes may be adverse since unresolved conflicts may escalate other relationship problems. Fortunately, individuals can alter the patterns by learning new conflict resolution strategies. Pathak et al. (2020) note that couples who seek help from a professional counselor have a better chance of improving their relationship and resolving conflicts more effectively. In this way, individuals can break the cycle of unresolved conflict in their family of origin.


Lamanna, M. A., Riedmann, A., & Stewart, S. D. (2020). Marriages, families, and relationships: Making choices in a diverse society. Cengage Learning.

Pathak, S., Bhat, A., & Kumar, S. (2020). Role of counseling in resolving marital conflicts. Journal of Indian Research, 8(2), 1–8.


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