Six Steps to Handling Conflict Well                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In this entry I’m going to share with you the approach that I use to help couples learn to deal with handling conflict.  This is an outline I give to folks, during our time together, so if any of this is unclear because we are not in counseling, please feel free to send me an email with any questions you might have.

If you decide to try this approach let me know how it works out.

Good luck

Dr. Marty

Six Steps to Handling Conflict Well

As you go through these steps remember – you get what you give! (what you give is what you get back!) As you follow the steps below you should really have a great chance of working things out.

Dr. Marty

Anger is understandable but not helpful.

1. Increases defensiveness   –   Withdrawal / attack

2. Emotional distance

Here is where you start:

  1. Calm down or distract yourself
  2. Understand your partner’s point of view.
  3. State your partner’s point of view.
  4. State your feelings, thoughts, and ideas without putting your partner down.
  5. If  not unsuccessful withdraw and  calm down or distract yourself  (This is one of the hardest parts)
    Don’t villainize/ demonize your partner or put them down in your head.
  6. Approach your partner when you are both calmer and in a good mood.  (This is the part where many couples fall down.)  Instead of doing this step they withdraw and hold a grudge  which comes out later.

Strategies for self talk/self thoughts

  1. Remember what you like about your partner.
  2. Remember their point of view.
  3. Give them the benefit of the doubt.
  4. Don’t make a big deal out of it.
  5. Ask yourself, is it really worth it to be aggressive/judgmental.
  6. Stay calm.


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