Appreciate The Intent Of Actions To Avoid Unnecessary Conflict

Nobody likes to find themselves in the middle of a fight with a significant other, but sometimes it feels inevitable. However, as The Atlantic points out, those conflicts are often the result of a minor misunderstanding, and an easy way to avoid those conflicts is to appreciate the original intent.

Photo by Nomadic Lass

Most of us are trying to be kind to our partners, but sometimes that kindness backfires. So, The Atlantic suggests you take a second to consider what their intentions might have been before taking on that sour mood:

Or say a wife is running late to dinner (again), and the husband assumes that she doesn’t value him enough to show up to their date on time after he took the trouble to make a reservation and leave work early so that they could spend a romantic evening together. But it turns out that the wife was running late because she stopped by a store to pick him up a gift for their special night out. Imagine her joining him for dinner, excited to deliver her gift, only to realise that he’s in a sour mood because he misinterpreted what was motivating her behaviour. The ability to interpret your partner’s actions and intentions charitably can soften the sharp edge of conflict.

“Even in relationships where people are frustrated, it’s almost always the case that there are positive things going on and people trying to do the right thing,” psychologist Ty Tashiro told me. “A lot of times, a partner is trying to do the right thing even if it’s executed poorly. So appreciate the intent.”

It’s basically the same idea as trying to see an argument from their point of view or “it’s the thought that counts”, but it’s a good point to consider if you find yourself in a lot of arguments where you’re just not on the same page.

Master of Love [The Atlantic]

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