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The Key to Managing Conflict with People you Trust

fighting coupleIt’s tempting to think avoiding conflict with people you trust is helpful, but the opposite is true.

With people you trust, you should welcome conflict and be eager to engage. After all, regardless of the trust level, you are going to have differences of opinion, different wants and needs. Things will not always line up.

Conflict is inevitable. And necessary to growing a relationship. How you manage conflict is a key component to growing closer.

So, welcome conflict, and take advantage of the opportunity to grow your relationship and actually increase trust levels.

Here’s the secret….

You need to be willing to make yourself vulnerable. This usually means telling the truth about your own foibles. When you screw up, you screw up. And who doesn’t screw up?

What if you completely forgot every excuse and just admitted it? What if you threw yourself at the mercy of the other?

Now, you must be getting why this article is for managing conflict with people you trust. Don’t throw yourself at the mercy of the untrustworthy. Interestingly, if you are NOT willing to be vulnerable with someone, how much do you really trust him or her?

The other’s response to your vulnerability – and how you work out solutions from there – represent real opportunities to develop your relationship. Trust increases by handling conflict this way.

In response, your partner or friend will likely become more vulnerable, too. Then, you’re on a great path forward to building a safe and fulfilling relationship – and will no longer waste time blaming each other and fighting when no such fight is necessary.

For a great little conflict resolution toolbox, check out the Cooling the Fire online program.

The Key to Managing Conflict with People you Trust

Mike Bundrant

Mike Bundrant is the author of Your Achilles Eel: Discover and Overcome the Hidden Cause of Negative Emotions, Bad Decisions and Self-Sabotage and co-founder at The iNLP Center which offers online certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and life coaching.

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APA Reference
Bundrant, M. (2016). The Key to Managing Conflict with People you Trust. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 30, 2020, from


Last updated: 26 Jan 2016
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