In the realm of relationships, understanding conflict styles can be a game-changer. It's about uncovering the patterns of communication and resolution that can either make or break connections. This topic is the focus of the most recent podcast episode with Chelsea Liaga, a former teacher turned couples therapist and content creator. Chelsea takes us on a journey into the world of relationships, unraveling the intricacies of conflict styles and the art of fostering healthier connections.
One of the critical insights Chelsea shares is the three primary conflict styles - the chaser/runner, the blame game, and the double freeze out. These styles are often the manifestations of our own insecurities and self-doubts. The chaser, often found criticizing their partner, mirrors their inner feelings of inadequacy. The runner, on the other hand, withdraws emotionally or physically as they grapple with feelings of not being good enough. The blame game is where each partner projects blame onto the other without taking any accountability. The double freeze-out is where two partners may not appear to have any ongoing conflict, living as civil roommates; however, they also lack emotional safety in the relationship and do not have a deep connection.
Communication, especially effective communication, is at the heart of resolving these conflict styles. Chelsea discusses the power of "I statements," a communication tool that shifts the emotional charge from the person to the issue at hand. This strategy, coupled with the Fair Play system, helps couples communicate, establish boundaries, and foster gratitude and vulnerability within relationships.
Delving deeper, Chelsea explains how our attachment styles and past traumas can influence our conflict styles. The key to managing these influences, she suggests, lies in creating an environment of emotional safety. This environment paves the way for meaningful conversations and strengthens the bond between partners.
Interestingly, our childhood experiences also play a significant role in shaping our adult conflict styles. How parents communicate and handle punishment can influence how adults express emotions and navigate conflicts. However, recognizing these patterns and addressing them through inner child work and self-compassion can break these cycles.
Chelsea and I also chatted about how to know when relationships are too toxic to implement these conflict resolution strategies. Chelsea went on to emphasize the importance of identifying red flags, such as a lack of remorse after infidelity, abuse, or a partner's unwillingness to take responsibility. A healthy relationship should foster a sense of safety and connection, and recognizing when it does not is crucial.
This episode offers more than just understanding conflict styles; it's about leveraging this understanding to build stronger, happier relationships. With Chelsea's insights, we learn that our relationships can be less about conflict and more about meaningful connections, leading to a more fulfilled life.
In essence, Chelsea's deep dive into conflict styles paints a broader picture of the dynamics within our relationships. Her insights serve as a guide, helping us navigate the often complex web of communication, empathy, and conflict resolution. By understanding and addressing our conflict styles, we can pave the way for healthier, more connected relationships.
🎧 Listen HERE
More About Chelsey:
Chelsey Liaga is a former teacher turned couples therapist and content creator. Known as my friend, the therapist on Instagram, Chelsey shares relatable and re-searched base information to help couples create the marriage of their dreams.
Ways to Connect with Chelsey:
E Book: https://myfriendthetherapist.com/opt-in/
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