How To Use Conflicts To Strengthen Relationships

Blissful and harmonious – these are common words that come to mind when describing happy and meaningful relationships. And if you want to keep and maintain a strong bond with someone, you oftentimes go out of your way to avoid conflicts as much as possible. Still, finding a couple who manages to stay together for a long time without finding anything to argue about sounds like something from a fantasy world. In reality, many struggle to come to terms with the people who are closest to them.

Can fights in a relationship be healthy?

Fights and misunderstandings are a normal part of a relationship. It is probably more alarming if you and your partner do not have anything to disagree about. An online survey even revealed that arguing increases a couple’s chance to be happy by 10 times. Having arguments can be a sign of a healthy and mature relationship because it is a way for couples to work out their differences. You do not have to change your ways to avoid conflicts or agree to everything your partner wants just to avoid trouble. By arguing, couples communicate their wants and together they figure out ways to resolve it. If done the right way, conflicts are like bridges that couples cross to further strengthen their union. Even so, not every couple knows how to properly deal with disagreements. Oftentimes the frequency and intensity of quarrels can quickly tear down the foundation of even the strongest relationships.

Broken relationships are always sad and the tragedy is worsened if you think simple and little changes could have been done to save it. One way to protect and nurture your relationship is by changing your attitude and approach towards conflicts. So are you always at odds with your partner? Find ways to turn that to your advantage with the following tips.

Be a better listener.

When issues arise in a relationship, it is so tempting to start trying to air your side. Now, if both partners resort to giving their piece of mind at once, no issue is likely to be resolved. In a healthy discussion, you have time to express your mind but also have open ears for your partner. Give your partner time to explain and listen without judgment. Put yourself in your partner’s shoes and try to be more understanding.

Ditch the blame game.

To pin a mistake on someone else is the easy and immature way of dealing with conflicts. Especially since most of the time you cannot attribute a mistake to only one person. Even if someone is really at fault they do not want to hear it over and over. Blaming others can just lead to contempt. So instead of pointing out the wrongs of someone else, look at the issue constructively as you both think of ways on how to avoid it next time.

Control your emotions.

If you are upset, you are likely to do things that you will regret later. Do your best not to let emotions like anger or bitterness get the better of you. It does not mean that you have to suppress your emotions. You have the right to acknowledge what you feel but you can manage the way you react to it. This is something that is easier said than done but if you truly want to protect your relationships, you need to exert real effort to be a master of your emotions. This is, after all, a trait that you can use in all aspects of your life. In times when controlling emotions seems impossible, it is better to take some time off before talking to your partner.

Do not sweat the small stuff.

Not every issue is worth an argument.  You may discover your partner’s annoying habits but if it is not something that creates big trouble, it is probably better to just be patient about it. Besides, creating relationship is also learning to accept some things about your partner. Be patient and learn to pick your battles as not everything is worth your time or attention.

The relationships we have makes life worth living. It is important to consciously take steps to nurture the relationships we have which includes finding ways to cope with conflicts and issues.

Glen and Joya BakerHow To Use Conflicts To Strengthen Relationships
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The Lessons We Should Teach All Kids Before They Enter a Classroom

Merriam-Webster defines knowledge as “the fact or condition of knowing something with familiarity gained through experience or association or the acquaintance with or understanding of a science, art, or technique.” In other words, knowledge is the collection of skills, facts, and information. It also seems to be the primary reason to send children to school. We want them to learn and to know things, to become knowledgeable, if you will, about the world they live in. We want them to succeed from an educational standpoint, and the environment inside classrooms reinforces this principle.

This mentality starts at a very young age. Elementary-schoolers are exposed to test-taking by the ripe, young age of six with first-grade level spelling tests. Essentially, this test-taking mindset never stops throughout a child’s entire education, and arguably through their entire life.  Children learn very early on that the grade received on a test represents how well the child does or does not master the material. There is a certain degree of validity to test-taking and the assessment of knowledge because we have to be sure that our children are learning, understanding and mastering material before moving on.

But, what happens when kids start comparing grades? What happens when children start realizing they’re actually not as smart as they believed themselves to be? That seemingly insignificant number circled in red pen on their assignment starts to mean a lot more. Their small, little world comes shattering down and crushes their desire to learn along with it.

If test-taking ensures the learning, understanding and mastering of certain skills and information, where is the assessment to make sure this information is actually being processed correctly? Where is the emphasis on the actual enterprises of the mind and not merely just the ability to collect and remember facts and information?

That being said, there are some lessons we should teach all kids before they enter a classroom.

 

Unfortunately, there may never be an accurate and completely foolproof way to fairly measure the actual processes of learning that take place inside children’s minds. But, there is a way to increase the chances of it. This is why we have to, we absolutely must, teach kids the difference between knowledge and intelligence before they enter the classroom. Before they take their first test. Before they get the wrong idea about the purpose of education.

Children must be aware that if knowledge is the collection of information learned in school, intelligence is the application of it. Intelligence is the truer indicator of a person’s cognition, but it’s just harder to measure. The rhetoric and narrative that surrounds children and their need to succeed are founded far too much in the emphasis on knowledge.

So before your kids enter a classroom for the first time, emphasize the fact that the number at the top of any test they ever take doesn’t accurately represent just how smart they truly are. What really matters is the ability to apply information learned in school to other situations. Inform them that their level of intelligence is much more valuable than their ability to collect information. If you do this, you’ll see much more successful results perhaps in school, but especially in life.

Glen and Joya BakerThe Lessons We Should Teach All Kids Before They Enter a Classroom
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How to Secure Stronger, More Meaningful Relationships

Romantic relationships aren’t the only ones that need and deserve a little TLC. Friendships, business partnerships, and familial relationships all require certain basic elements of love and care to thrive. If you want to secure a stronger, more meaningful relationship with someone, you have to put in the effort and the time required to forge those lasting bonds. You wouldn’t forget to water the plants in your garden and leave them to wilt, so why would you let your meaningful relationships falter without a sprinkling of communication, a handful of quality time, and a helping of compassion?

Strengthen Your Relationships Through Communication

One of the most important things you can do for the health of your relationships is to communicate. Though it may seem unnecessary—or even burdensome at times—to reach out to your network of friends, family, and colleagues, it’s unbelievably crucial to the success of those relationships.

When you take the time to let the people in your life know that you care for them, you’ll be so richly rewarded by stronger, more meaningful bonds with each and every one of them.

Forge Lasting Bonds With Quality Time

In addition to strengthening your communication skills, it’s also vitally important to carve out time to spend with those that mean the most to you. Quality time is worth so much more than anything else when it comes to relationships. It’s the real bread and butter of meaningful connection.

If you can’t make a significant time commitment, at least try to make the time that you can spend as deeply impactful as possible. Don’t just skim the surface if you’re wanting to strengthen your close personal relationships.

Always Demonstrate Compassion in Relationships

Everyone needs a shoulder to cry on from time to time. We all need and deserve compassion in our lives, and sadly, many of us seldom find that comfort. In order to create the strongest, longest lasting relationships, though, it’s crucial to develop that level of compassion for your fellow man.

Demonstrate your compassion by lending a helping hand or a listening ear. Go out of your way to show the people in your life that you’re there for them, through thick and thin. What it really comes down to is loving your neighbor as you love yourself.

Glen and Joya BakerHow to Secure Stronger, More Meaningful Relationships
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How to Do Less and Lead More

In most modern businesses, there are essentially two types of leaders. Of course, to be fair, there are thousands upon thousands of ways to classify and slice and dice and categorize leaders, but for the purposes of this article, we’re going to focus on two major trends in business leadership. First of all, there are leaders who lead by example; they’re hands-off, and they’d prefer to work themselves to the bone in the hopes that their followers will emulate them. Secondly, in the opposite camp, there are leaders who take the time to lead intentionally. They don’t seem to be doing quite as much as their overactive counterparts, but what you don’t see is the commitment to excellence they embody through their subtle methods.

All of this is not to say either way is necessarily the “right” way to lead, but there are some notable benefits to the method of hands-on, subtle leadership. It’s all in the art of doing less and leading more.

So, how do you do less and lead more? It’s certainly not a simple feat. It takes finesse. It takes communication. More than anything, it takes dedication.

If you’re going to commit to doing less for yourself, if you’re going to put a stop to simply leading by example, then you need to go all in. You need to be there 100 percent in every respect for your followers, for your mentees, for the people you help and coach.

How do you go all in? There’s really no set way to go all in, but at the core of the principle is the idea that this is a calling. To be a leader is a unique vocation, and it’s one that very few truly receive and even fewer answer.

When you feel compelled to lead others, and you answer that call, you have to be willing to make it a priority.

At the end of the day, you will ultimately be doing so much more as a leader, even if you’re nominally doing less. You may not get the glory for your own work, but you’ll have something even better: the satisfaction of knowing you truly led.

Glen and Joya BakerHow to Do Less and Lead More
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