Monday, January 12, 2009

Part of the solution


There are so many little minor things that can add up to significant conflict within relationships. How many times have you talked to someone that was steaming angry about something their significant other did, and as you listened to them vent about it, found yourself wondering what the BFD was? Yet the person on each end of the argument was truly pissed off about whatever piddling issue touched off the problem.

The question then becomes why? What is the underlying cause that touches off these big problems over essentially nothing? What are some ways to recognize what an argument is _really_ about, preferably before going off at a partner for no good reason?

There have been times where taking a moment to consider a situation has lead me to such insights as: feeling under appreciated, being scared that a partner was enjoying another relationship more, anger at over-extending myself , AKA: martyrdom, not feeling listened to, wanting reassurance, feeling overwhelmed or inadequate to a task, and a wide variety of other equally unflattering motivations.

If I am able to step back from a brewing conflict to notice if there is something deeper or less obvious motivating me, chances are good that the imminent argument can turn into a more constructive discussion that gets my needs met better than sniping about minutiae would. Someday, I hope to be well-evolved enough to see many more of those opportunities in advance of snarkiness! I'm sure PG and S would second that emotion. ;)

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