Placing blame on the other person leads to the blamee experiencing feelings of guilt and poor self-esteem, which in turn reduces intimacy. Receiving blame for a situation often causes people to feel defensive, and this can cause disagreements to escalate and create more conflict. Additionally, when people always blame someone else for problems, it eliminates their need to look at themselves and see where they should change, grow, or improve in the relationship. When negative situations are always the other person’s fault, there is no need for self-reflection and frustration continues to build, slowly chipping away at the relationship.
In order for a relationship to thrive, both members need to resist the urge to point fingers at one another and practice healthier ways to handle issues. Here are some ways to address points of conflict that will help build up your relationship instead of tearing it down:
Practice Self Awareness
Self-awareness also leads to more effective communication. When you practice introspection, you become more conscious of how your feelings and the different experiences you have encountered in your life shape the way you perceive conflict and communicate with others. Identify potential barriers to communication so that you are better able to listen and ameliorate conflict when it arises in your relationship.
When you speak up about conflict in your relationship, do so without accusation. When you immediately place blame, your partner is likely to become defensive, and an argument might break out that will harm your relationship. One helpful way to make sure that you do not place blame when you bring up a conflict is to use “I” statements. For instance, saying, “I felt dismissed when you do not listen to my concerns” is far better than saying, “You never listen to me.” Explain how you are feeling and the steps you are going to take to resolve the issue, and create the space for your partner to have a dialogue.
Conflict is inevitable, so make sure you have the tools and methods needed to address conflict in a positive manner. For resources about handling problems and increasing communication in relationships, visit Couples Clinic.