Developed by HRI Program Coordinator, Camila Dos Santos, M.Ed.

Most relationship experts will agree that healthy relationships are not free of conflict. One of the factors that sets healthy relationships apart from unhealthy ones is how the people in that relationship resolve their conflict.  People in healthy relationships will work together and treat the problem as their own, rather than placing blame or not taking accountability for their part in the conflict. 

However, conflict resolution is a skill that many of us will spend our lives improving and working on. One way to work on conflict resolution in your relationship is to talk about your conflict resolution style and how you can work together to communicate through issues. 

The following questions may spark conversations that help you both reflect on your conflict resolution style and how you can improve together:

  • What could we do to resolve conflicts more smoothly in our relationship?
  • What were your parents’ conflicts like? 
  • Do you prefer to resolve conflicts right away, or do you prefer to cool down first? Why? 
  • What is one thing you can do to improve communication in our relationship? 

Remember to focus on one question at a time when having these conversations.  Talking about multiple issues or concerns at the same time can lead to confusion, conflict, and can stir up many emotions for both partners.  You can always revisit this list when you’d like to discuss a different question! 

Today’s conversation starters can be found in our HRI Toolkit for Couples here: https://www.guilfordhri.org/community-resources/toolkits/couples/