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Communication Under Pressure:
Conflict and Compromise

Excerpts from Making Healthy Families

Making Healthy Families

By Gayle Peterson, Ph.D.

Copyright 1996-2003.  Gayle Peterson All rights reserved.

"Conflicts are not only inevitable in the natural course of family life, but they are necessary for growth."

It is the way we express ourselves and listen to our partners (and children) that determines our capacity to successfully negotiate with our loved ones when conflicts arise. Skillful communication prevents misunderstandings and keeps your partner apprised to the emotional changes and development that happens on quiet levels inside each of us every day.

But with busy schedules, it is often difficult to carve out enough time for the discussions we need to have together as a couple to resolve problems, much less to keep each other informed about our changing perceptions, experiences and growth! So it is inevitable that we sometimes depend upon "heated" discussions with our partners to inform us about what is going on inside.

We all have the ability to destroy our relationships. No one is immune to destructive patterns of communicating when under stress and we all use them at some time. The key to health is not perfect communication, but an awareness of when we express ourselves in destructive ways and what patterns each of us have a tendency to "default" to in times of stress.

It is our ability to communicate effectively under pressure that will make the difference in our lives and relationships. In order to increase our tools for communicating more effectively, we must take an honest look at our own discussion-busters.

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Copyright 1996-2003.  Gayle Peterson All rights reserved.

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