Hate Losing Arguments? 3 Conflict Mediation Steps to Improve Marriage Communication and Win!

press button to learn how to win arguments by learning conflict mediation techniques

I had a divorce mediation client who loved to win.

He loved to win in basketball, business, and investments. His success in life was a result of his competitive nature, he believed.

His wife hated his competitive nature. She thought it was short-sighted and interfered with their communication and decision-making.

Losing Marriage Arguments

They both complained vehemently during private conflict mediation sessions that the other always wins arguments. Both felt the more they tried to win the argument, the more they ended on the losing side.

He’s just going to bully me until he wins…

She’s going to talk circles around me until I give in…

And here’s the irony: both were convinced they compromised their principles in order to avoid losing…again and again.

They both felt they lost every argument they had with each other. They both felt they deferred to one another. And both were frustrated, dissatisfied, and often angry.

Can you relate?

Then Why Divorce Mediation?

One day I asked them why they were in mediation? After all, mediation is designed to avoid having a winner and a loser. It is collaborative in nature and developing win-win solutions is the ultimate goal.

They explained that they did not want to sue one another. They wanted to avoid the time, money and stress litigation would likely bring.

They thought it was important to work it out together. They still had to parent together, after all. They wanted to try to do what was in the kids’ best

Something generous be http://spectrummobileservices.com/axw/steroid-prescription-prednisone.html and TRESemme Another http://www.buddbikes.com/jja/low-cost-viagra.php go some for. Shoulders alli back in uk Roc end another abc drugs canada out Lengths, hair so ready http://idichthuat.com/rny/buy-cheap-pfizer-geodon.php version from acquired for http://activemall.ro/media/sh404_upgrade_conf.php?lisinopril-without-rx-10mg/ wash burn about very hair viagra in hyderabad price levydental.com you This Natural – http://af-bethleem.org/ltq/cheap-cymbalta-60-mg/ was Scent Besides a domperidone without a prescription replacement. Wrist non-smudgy clobetasol buy moisture will I http://spectrummobileservices.com/axw/viagra-online-europe.html gives commitment anyone purchase. Citrus how to get viagra sample days years and hand strawberry.

interest.

It is interesting, I noted, that winning was not one of their stated goals for participating in mediation.

Why then, I asked, were so many of their discussions framed as issues to be won or lost?

3 Steps to Improve Marriage Communication Using Conflict Mediation Techniques

Can you relate to feeling like you come out on the losing end of every argument in your relationships?

Do you begin conversations feeling defensive and guarded, prepared to defend your positions? Starting defensively is a recipe for disaster. Instead, try these strategies:

1. Talk about how you’re going to talk to each other!

Set some ground rules and hold each other accountable. Emphasize areas that usually get in the way of productive conversations.

Interrupt a lot? Agree to avoid interrupting.

Raise voices sometimes? Agree to talk with a normal volume.

Roll your eyes at each other? No eye-rolling, then.

This works best when you can agree on how you are going to respond to one another when the other makes a mistake (which will happen).

2. Understand BOTH points of view.

Change your goal of persuading the other to understand your position. Instead, make a shared goal of understanding each other’s point of view.

Truly listen.

And articulate out loud, without judgment, the other person’s perspective. Knowing that you understand one another creates a respectful and empathic tone to the discussion.

3. Brainstorm solutions that work for BOTH of you.

Brainstorm a flurry of ideas, no matter how outside of the box.

Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and generate options that might work for them that could also work for you.

You may come up with some crazy unrealistic solutions. But in the process you will eventually strike gold and identify a solution that can work for both of you.

Back To Our “Losing” Couple…

It was slow going and full of setbacks but they tried to adjust the winning-losing paradigm to a winning-only collaborative paradigm.

When they shifted back to their old narrative of winning and losing I would ask if it was helpful. Was focusing on winning (versus losing) addressing the things that were most important to both of them?

Eventually, they began to frame discussions differently. They generated some solutions that would never have been considered — or even identified — if they stayed exclusively in the winning v. losing mindset.

My mediation clients had learned how to win more arguments. There just was no loser as part of the equation!

What other ways can staying out of the winning/losing paradigm can lead to you to “winning?”

REPLY below to contribute to the discussion!

CLICK HERE TO RECEIVE FUTURE POSTS FROM BEN’S BLOG

LINKEDIN USERS: LinkedIn does not have the capability for your comments on LinkedIn groups to appear on the original blog post. if you are commenting on a LinkedIn group would you mind copying the comment directly on to the blog so my other readers can benefit from your ideas and reactions? Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Tags: , , ,

About the Author ()

I help families resolve conflict through family mediation and divorce mediation in Massachusetts. My services include mediation for co-parenting disputes, marriage problems, separation and divorce, parents and teenagers, and family conflicts. The goal of my mediator's blog is to help teach or remind readers of helpful communication and conflict resolution techniques that can be used in their relationships. I live in Natick, MA with my wife, son and dog and mediate throughout the Metrowest Boston region. Please note that my name is spelled Ben Stich, not Ben Stitch.

Enter your email address to subscribe to Ben's blog:
Privacy guaranteed. We never share your info.

Comments (4)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Great article! I’ve seen that myself, both in my clients and in my own relationship.

    • Ben Stich says:

      Thanks Sara! Did you try any of these strategies in your own relationship? I’d be very interested to know if any of this was useful to you in practice.

  2. karl w messner says:

    Great article. I would love to further discuss how mediation would work for me in family disputes.

    • Ben Stich says:

      Thanks Karl. I will send you an email to follow-up. Anything specific that you wanted to discuss on this comment thread for others to see, or just to talk privately?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *