Communication Under Pressure:
Conflict and Compromise
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.