Leading Authority in Treatment of Narcissism and Emotional Abuse

6 Steps to Healthy Conflict

Beyond Defensiveness: 6 Steps to Healthy Conflict

Conflict is an inevitable part of any relationship, whether it’s romantic, familial, or professional. Learning to navigate healthy conflict is crucial for fostering strong connections and building trust. One key aspect of handling conflict effectively is being able to receive and apply critical feedback. Dr. David Hawkins will explore six strategies for moving beyond defensiveness and engaging in healthy conflict resolution.

Maintain an Open and Receptive Attitude

The first step in handling critical feedback is to cultivate an open and receptive attitude. This means recognizing that receiving criticism is not a personal attack but rather an opportunity for growth and improvement in the relationship. Dr. David Hawkins, director of the Marriage Recovery Center, emphasizes the importance of viewing feedback as part of the “price of admission” to adult healthy relationships. Instead of becoming defensive, approach criticism with openness and a willingness to learn.

Learn to Listen Empathetically

Listening is a fundamental skill in conflict resolution, especially when receiving critical feedback. Seek to understand the perspective of the person offering criticism by empathizing with their feelings and motivations. Avoid jumping to conclusions or becoming defensive. Instead, focus on actively listening to their concerns and validating their experiences.

Seek to Understand

Take the time to understand why the other person is bringing their concerns to you. Recognize that their intention is likely not to criticize you but to improve the relationship. Ask questions to gain clarity and insight into their perspective. By showing genuine curiosity and seeking understanding, you demonstrate a commitment to resolving conflicts constructively.

Ask Questions and Be Curious

Asking questions is an effective way to deepen your understanding of the other person’s perspective and concerns. Encourage open communication by being curious about their thoughts and feelings. By asking questions, you signal your willingness to engage in dialogue and work towards resolution collaboratively.

Validate Their Concerns and Take Ownership

Validating the other person’s concerns is essential for building trust and fostering a sense of connection. Acknowledge their feelings and experiences without dismissing or invalidating them. Taking ownership of your actions and their impact demonstrates accountability and a commitment to addressing the issues raised. By acknowledging the validity of their concerns, you create a foundation for meaningful dialogue and resolution.

Follow Through with Change

Finally, it’s crucial to follow through with any commitments or changes agreed upon during the conflict resolution process. Actions speak louder than words, and demonstrating a genuine effort to address the concerns raised reinforces trust and strengthens the relationship. Check in periodically to assess progress and ensure that both parties are satisfied with the resolution.

Beyond Defensiveness: 6 Steps to Healthy Conflict

In summary, handling critical feedback effectively requires a combination of openness, empathy, and accountability. By maintaining an open and receptive attitude, listening empathetically, seeking understanding, asking questions, validating concerns, taking ownership, and following through with change, you can navigate conflicts in a healthy and constructive manner. Ultimately, embracing healthy conflict as an opportunity for growth and improvement can lead to stronger, more resilient relationships.

To learn how we can help, reach out to us at (206) 219-0145 or info@marriagerecoverycenter.com to speak with a Client Care Specialist

Also read: 5 Steps to a Happier Marriage

About Dr. Hawkins:

The internet is inundated with hyperbole and misinformation about narcissism, leaving many people confused and hopeless. Get the facts on narcissism and emotional abuse from someone who has been researching, writing about and treating narcissism and emotional abuse for over a decade.

Dr. Hawkins is a best-selling author and clinical psychologist with over three decades of experience helping people break unhealthy patterns and build healthier relationships.

He is the founder and director of the Marriage Recovery Center and the Emotional Abuse Institute which offers education, training and counseling for people who want to break free of, and heal from, emotional abuse. Whether the perpetrator of the abuse is your spouse, partner, parent, boss, friend or family member, we offer practical advice for anyone trapped in a toxic, destructive relationship.

In addition to narcissism & emotional abuse, you’ll learn about the lesser known forms of abuse, including covert abuse, reactive abuse, spiritual abuse, secondary abuse, relationship trauma and much more.


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