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These Important Do’s and Don’ts for Conflict Resolution Can Save You Time

Famous comedian Tim Hawkins tells his crowd a funny story one night:

“One of the conflict resolution tools they teach in marriage is to ask questions when you have a disagreement. Don’t just start spewing out what you think and make it worse. Ask questions, try to relate, make it better.”

He goes on to say:

“I used that last week. My wife and I got into a disagreement. It got hot, it got heated, we started to fight. I stopped myself right there and started asking questions:

“Honey, why are you being a psycho right now?”

While we can all chuckle at this and know that we should not take Tim’s advice when it comes to talking to our spouse, he does make a good point. Sometimes, in order to end the conflict sooner and improve your relationship when arguing, you need to be the bigger person. And that sometimes requires stepping back and stepping down.

There are some key things to think about when we talk about the elephant in the room: conflict. We need to remember that in the end, this is our significant other. We love them and care about them, and emotional or violent abuse is NEVER the answer. We also need to keep in mind that inside voices are important because yelling will get you nowhere when it comes to fighting.

And lastly, there are some phrases and questions to keep in mind when arguing that can be useful and not overbearing, and that will let your loved one know you care about them. So next time you feel an argument coming on, think of some of these phrases and put them to use!


Phrases to Utilize When in Conflict

1. “Please say that more gently.”

2. “I feel defensive. Can you rephrase that?”

3. “I see your point here.”

4. “I agree with part of what you are saying.”

5. “This is not just your problem, it is out problem.”

6. “Let me start again in a softer and more gentle way. I am sorry.”

7. “This is important to me. Will you please listen? I would appreciate it.”

8. “Please let me finish what I am saying.”

9. “What are your concerns with this matter?”

10. “I want be more calm with you right now, but I just do not know how. Can we come back to this later?”

11. “I think you are having trouble understanding what I am trying to get at right now.”

12. “I may be wrong, let’s look at this one more time.”

13. “Oh, I see what you are saying. I understand. You mean….”

14. “You had said this…am I right on that? Is that accurate?”

15. “I can see my part in this.”

16. “I need to finish what I was saying.”

17. “Let’s agree to disagree on this specific issue.”

18. “Actually, that really did hurt my feelings.”

19. “I am sorry, I see where I went wrong. Please, will you forgive me?”

20. “I love you.”

21. “Can I take that back?”

22. “Can you listen to me right now and really try to understand what I am getting at? It would mean a lot to me.”

23. “I am sorry. You are right, my reaction was to the extreme and I am at fault for that. Forgive me?”

24. “Let me try rephrasing that and try again.”

25. “Will you kiss me? Please?”


Phrases to Ignore When in Conflict

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Image source:


Now that we have a hold of these phrases that will help you in your arguments and will help you work through things quicker, there are some things that we need to refrain from and ignore. These phrases should never be used when arguing, and they can quickly lead to hurting your better half if you use them often while fighting. Not to mention your argument will definitely go on longer.

1. “You are wrong!”

2. “I want to break up.”

3. “I am done.”

4. “I do not care about your opinion right now.”

5. “I do not care about you.”

6. “You have changed.”

7. “I hate you.”

8. “You always do this to me.”

9. “This is not my problem.”

10. “You are such a (insert a profanity that you should NEVER call your significant other).”

11. “You are just like…”

12. “It is no big deal. Why are you so mad?”

13. “This is all your fault, you know.”

14. “I want a divorce.”

15. “If you really care about me, then you would…”

16. “This is so like you.”

17. “I am fine.”

18. “You can leave now.”

19. “Well, I think that is stupid.”


Quotes to Keep in Mind When in Conflict

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Image Source:


Sometimes, famous people have really good things to say. Sometimes, anonymous people have even better things to say. Whichever one it is, is not the important thing. Keep some of these wise sayings in your head during your next argument to help advise you in what you say and what your actions are.

1. “If you can’t say something nice, say it in French.” – Anonymous

2. “Be calm in arguing, for fierceness makes error a fault and truth discourtesy.” – George Herbert

3. “Say what you mean, but don’t say it mean.” – Andrew Wachter

4. “Usually the person you argue with the most, is the person you love the most.” – Anonymous

5. “A good friend just told me that the key to a successful marriage was to argue naked.” – Leann Rimes


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