The least Applied Solution to Relationship Conflicts Worth Considering
Bill Cottringer

“The only way to mange the destructive affects of anger and hatred are to cultivate the positive antidotes of patience and tolerance.” ~The Dalai Lama.

In any intensely close personal or work relationship, there comes a time when a seemingly unsolvable conflict of values or problem-solving draws you into serious discomfort and borderline insanity. Communication back and forth about what the other person is doing to make the situation worse, or even confessing self-doubting admissions, just makes things worse.

This kind of communication in a close relationship builds more and more misunderstanding, frustration, contempt, anger and even hatred, with no relief in sight. The relationship becomes a dreadfully draining vicious circle of negative emotionality that keeps you both trapped with no way out. Ever been here?

When a close relationship gets so intensely flooded with uncomfortable and confusing thoughts and feelings, we are left with four choices of what to do:

• Give up, quit the relationship and run away to be safe and protect yourself from the discomfort and insanity.

• Be aggressive and try to impose your solution to the conflict, because you are certain you are more right and the other person is wrong.

• Try being assertive in communicating the right things you both need to know, understand and do about the situation in order to arrive at a creative, compromising and more satisfying way through to the other side of the conflict.

• Say or do nothing, hoping it will dissolve itself and go away like waking up from a bad nightmare.

Ever try these and not get the desired results? Unfortunately, we really don’t have that much confidence that any of these four approaches will work to get the ultimate outcome we want—the win-win one—for both people to learn something important, make a needed change, and grow forward to be a better person in a more positive, loving, productive and satisfying relationship.

After many years of trying all four of these possible responses to deeply conflicting relationships in my own life, I have finally discovered the true meaning of “unconditional love” and its absolute curing effect on all problems, even the seemingly uncontrollable ones. The reason that it takes so long to understand what unconditional love is really all about, is that it takes an impossible situation that confronts your very being to accept the unacceptable.

All my life I have been an avid searcher of the truth in trying to see the most accurate and complete version of reality to act on to get the best results, apart from all my own known blind spots. And my own biggest blind spot was—not in “not” understanding what unconditional love was—but how to actually apply and live it.

What is the real solution to our above conflicted relationship dilemma? The only two-stage workable solution is the hardest answer we can ever learn to apply because it runs counter to our basic human nature:

1. Figuring out what the other person is doing most wrong in the relationship and how to communicate that information to guarantee clarity, understanding and positive impact in getting the desired change for the better.

2. Not saying anything about this true insight to anyone, keeping it entirely to yourself, and resisting all natural impulses to speak or write it.

Why is this silent response the only way through this type of intense conflict? Because it builds the only two positive antidotes to all the varieties of strong negative emotions that drive the conflict—patience and tolerance, just like the Dalai Lama said.

The growing of your own patience and tolerance in reaction to the perceived “wrongs” that others do to you, makes the space for your own openness and ability to see “your” solutions to the conflict (# 1 above) and apply them to your own growth and improvement, instead of imposing them onto the other person where they really don’t belong. Besides, you never really have control over what someone else says or does.

Sometimes the hardest lessons in life take the longest to learn. That has certainly been the case for me. Some people might call that slow learning, but I prefer to see it as courageous living that can be inspiring to others to consider. That is the only reason I am violating my own principles and risking the jinxing of this solution in my own situation, by speaking it to others. That is a risk I am willing to take, based on my unshakable faith in life always taking me to a better place.

But in the end, I have to remain open to the reality that this is just my own personal solution to my own personal conflicts, which I ought to keep to myself and that such as solution is not as widely applicable as I imagine. I guess time will tell.

“The more you know, the less you need to say.” ~Jim Rohn.

Author's Bio: 

William Cottringer, Ph.D. is President of Puget Sound Security in Bellevue, WA., along with being a Sport Psychologist, Business Success Coach, Photographer and Writer living in the mountains of North Bend. He is author of several business and self-development books, including, Re-Braining for 2000 (MJR Publishing), The Prosperity Zone (Authorlink Press), You Can Have Your Cheese & Eat It Too (Executive Excellence), “The Bow-Wow Secrets” (Wisdom Tree), “Do What Matters Most” and “P” Point Management” (Atlantic Book Publishers), “Reality Repair Rx” (Publish America) and “Reality Repair” (coming shortly) Bill can be reached for comments or questions at (425) 454-5011 or