A LOT OF THINGS might help you in your
relationship, but when you try to sift out the most important,
your ability to deal with conflict will be at or near the top
of the list.
Would you like to experience less conflict?
Would you like to feel calmer during conflicts? Would you like
to resolve them easier? Here's how: Remember whatever is happening
is temporary. There are several reasons this principle is
When someone assumes her problem is permanent,
it can lead to depression, according to Martin Seligman, one
of the top researchers in his field. Assuming that something
bad is permanent is one of the biggest contributors to the downward
spiral of depression, and depression is the most common psychological
problem people experience and one of the most destructive.
Merely being disheartened is a mild form of depression. Although
it's milder, it happens more often. When you feel disheartened,
you want to stop trying. This not only feels bad, it makes you
less capable of dealing well with conflict.
Coming from an entirely different angle,
Buddha tried to find out what caused suffering. By his own assessment,
one of his most important findings is that when people fail to
accept the temporary nature of things, they suffer more than
they need to. According to Buddha (and I happen to agree with
him on this), this lack of acceptance that things are temporary
and always changing is one of the main sources of suffering for
When Abraham Lincoln was in the White House,
he experienced stress, and that is an understatement if I've
ever made one! Soldiers were getting slaughtered by the tens
of thousands and Lincoln was the one sending them to their tragic
deaths. He was a deeply empathetic man, so this tremendous slaughter
caused him immense despair and sadness and pain. But it needed
to be done, and decisions needed to be made every day. To keep
himself calm enough to deal with it, he often said to himself,
this too shall pass. He used this phrase as a kind of
mantra. He was able to maintain his rationality and carry out
his duties at a crucial time in history largely by reminding
himself again and again that whatever is happening is temporary.
This too shall pass. The one constant in this universe is that everything
changes. Remind yourself of this and you'll suffer less. You'll
get disheartened less often and less intensely. And back
to our original purpose you'll deal with conflict better.
Say that phrase to yourself next time you
feel upset about something. Use it as a mantra. The circumstances
that caused the upset will change maybe not all of them,
but some parts of your circumstances will change all by themselves
fairly quickly. And remind yourself that your feelings will change
inevitably, even if you do nothing to change them. You won't
stay upset forever. I know this is obvious to you now, but when
you're upset, you tend to forget this important truth.
It's a simple idea, but it can dramatically
ease the strain of the moment, making you better able to deal
with it, creating less stress in your body, and making you a
calmer person to interact with.
Say to yourself in times of
This too shall pass.