In any relationship, there is one sure-fire way to stay stuck in the conflict resolution process. It's as simple as it is difficult: Avoid it.
There's a huge difference between resolving the conflict and avoiding it. Most people use techniques of conflict avoidance, believing it to be synonymous with resolution.
Not only are they different from one another, they are also diametrically opposed to each other. It's no wonder people are staying stuck. And it's no wonder they're feeling frustrated when they're putting actions into motion that are supposed to help, yet the results are never forthcoming.
In very simple terms, here's the reason why:
Relationships integrating solid communication skills will lead to an openness which will allow resolution to take place.
As opposed to:
Relationships mired in poor or mediocre communication skills are far more likely to avoid the discord, thereby setting into motion even worse communication skills, thereby avoiding more conflict, lessening the communication skills even more, and causing more avoidance. It's then only a matter of time until there's no relationship left.
The great news here is two-fold:
1) Healthy conflict in relationships is good; &
2) All communication techniques can always get better.
Healthy conflict resolution begins with information. The fact that there is a clash one day where it wasn't there the day, or week, or month, before hints to the reality that the contrast is the result of something. It didn't just appear out of thin air. So we have to go back to the beginning and retrace the steps that got you to the situation at hand.
Next, there's perspective. Let's say I'm walking down a city street with 3 other people. I point downwards and ask, "What is that?"
Person 1 replies, "A sidewalk".
Person 2 answers, "Concrete".
Person 3 responds, "Grey".
They all are looking at the same thing. Have access to the same information. Each view it from a different perspective, yet clearly, no one is wrong.
With a different perspective, we will undoubtedly each reach a different conclusion.
The problem is, most people can't find the resolution. It's not because they're not trying, it's because they don't have the right communication skills needed. Without having a firm grasp on the process that actually takes place before the conflict, there is no chance you'll be able to come to a successful resolution.