Quote of the day: CONFLICT

May 19, 2011


The style of addressing, processing, and resolving conflicts may be different for men than for women, so that even couples who have committed to all three may not really agree on what they have committed to. For men addressing may mean stating the problem now, getting straight to the point, getting directly to the bottom line. Similarly, processing may mean solving it now, and resolving it may mean forgetting it and going on. When quick resolution is the main priority, we may discount others’ feelings.

For women, on the other hand, addressing may mean talking and talking until we know what we are talking about. This involves going around and around the issue, not as a means of avoidance but as a way of giving it our attention. Processing for women means feeling into both this and past issues. It also means having feelings heard and appreciated. As for resolution, it may easily follow from a sense of being heard and cared about, from being mirrored with love. Thus, problem solving may be the lowest priority for women, mirrored feelings the highest.

— David Richo, How to Be an Adult in Relationships

2 Responses to “Quote of the day: CONFLICT”

  1. I find that conflict resolution is just a bit more nuanced than presented above. In my hetero relationship there are days when I want to get to the point and forget the conflict and move on, when he only wants his feelings recognised. Are the dynamics so different in same sex relationships? It seems to me that the human being is much more complicated and much less well defined. Vulnerability seems not to have been included in this calculation. I DO like to talk….He’s right there.

    • dshewey Says:

      I get your point 100% — plenty of men want/need their feelings heard, and plenty of women want to get to the point. In the wider context that this excerpt is taken from, he’s talking about the masculine and feminine temperaments that all humans possess and the dialogue that takes place between them (or not).

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