Department of Communication

Tips on Managing Conflict Fairly

Consider the following suggestions to keep you focused on issues rather than personalities when you experience conflict.

  1. Be specific when you introduce a complaint.
  2. Do not just complain; ask for a reasonable change that will make the situation better.
  3. Give and receive feedback about the major points of disagreement to make sure you are understood.
  4. Try tolerance. Be open to your own feelings, and those of your partner. Openness means that you accept change and can verbalize that attitude towards your partner.
  5. Consider compromising if appropriate. Many issues involve issues that are neither right nor wrong. Ask your partner for solutions.
  6. Deal with one issue at a time.
  7. Don’t assume you know what your partner thinks or feels. Ask.
  8. Attack the issue, not each other.
  9. Don’t call each other names or use sarcasm.
  10. Don’t gunnysack that is, don't hosrd resentments and issues.
  11. Do not burden your partner with too many issues.
  12. Plan your message before speaking.
  13. Try to control your emotions.
  14. Try to look at both your partner’s position and yours.
  15. Plan a mutually agreeable time and place to explore the conflict.
  16. Use self-talk so as not to lash out.
  17. Listen to your partner.

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