5 Steps to Manage Relationship Conflict

2 Jun 2020

As the old saying goes, conflict is inevitable! 69 percent of problems are unsolvable according to research by Dr. John Gottman, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Washington, co-founder of The Gottman Institute and the author of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. Trying to eliminate or avoid conflict only leads to more problems. Instead, learn to manage conflict and build stronger, healthier relationships by taking these 5 steps.

MINDFULLY CONNECT: eliminate all distractions, make an effort.

TRULY LISTEN: use your whole body; maintain eye contact, lean in closer, open arms.

SPEAK FOR YOURSELF: start with I; own your feelings, wants, and needs.

TAKE 5: use brief time-outs to cool down when things get heated, physically separate.

RETURN & REFOCUS: Come back to issue when calm, focus on what you can do.

REPAIR: avoid blaming, instead take responsibility and own your part.

For help with individual, marriage and family relationships. The Fleet and Family Support Center is here to support you and your family during every career and life change with caring counselors, classes, relocation assistance and deployment support. You can find resources and our contact information at navylifepnw.com


Article courtesy of

Kima Tozay, LICSW

Chief of Clinical Services

Fleet and Family Support Center

Naval Station Everett