You and your partner have been trying to decide on a big change in your lives. It could be a vacation, purchase, or even a commitment to a friend, such as loaning money. All of these things take the decision of you both and affect you both. One of you may want to do it, while the other is hesitant for some reason. Here are 5 ways to resolve the conflict without arguing.
1) Pros & Cons- Each of you write down the pros and cons of doing it. When you have finished go over those with each other. My suggestion would be for one to go over their pros for doing it then the other person. Then you go over the cons for not doing it. The reason this helps is because you can see why it is important for the other person - you get their prospective. When things are written down they seem more final. Looking at your pros & cons allows you to see it in writing and finally decide.
2) Compromise- If it is a vacation, determine who will decide this one and let the other person decide the next one. If it's a large purchase maybe you can get the other person something smaller they wanted while you make the large purchase. You can even agree that the person who wants the large purchase can pay for it alone so it doesn't affect the person who doesn't want it. The reason this helps is because if one wants a new stove, but the other one thinks it is perfectly fine, the person who wants it can get the stove, while the other person doesn't have to sacrifice to pay it. Another compromise is, if the person who wants the stove allows the other person to buy the new desk they wanted, you can budget both into bills and you both get something new.
3) Experiment with each other- If you can't agree to a vacation, loaning money, or any big decision try to use the experience as an experiment. Agree to allow your brother Bob to get $1000 and if Bob doesn't pay it back as promised then you can use that as a reminder, why it is no longer okay to loan Bob money. If it is something greater and can't be experimented with, such as buying a new house or getting a new job, make up scenarios that may happen and go through them with each other. This helps because when you think outside the box you bring things to each other's attention that you may not have thought about. Putting yourself in that scenario lets you feel what you would feel if it really happened.
4) Take turns- This is the simplest rule in the book. If you allow each other to take turns planning a vacation, loaning money, making a purchase, or any big decision there isn't anything to argue or discuss. For example, if Mrs. wants to purchase a new stove and pays it off then Mr. can get that 70" TV and pay it off. This works because no one feels like they have to sacrifice anything. You each get to take turns doing or planning something that will make them happy. If you know they can do this but later you can do that, it helps with avoiding conflict.
5) Set a budget- This may seem weird, but if you have a yearly budget on purchasing items, travel or loaning money then you can determine what you can spend it on. Say your budget is $5,000 a year on purchasing non-essential items, trips, loaning money, etc then you can do your travel plans for the year, determine what you can afford to purchase and leave the rest for loaning, emergency trips, etc. This works because once you come up with the budget and agree to stay within it, a purchase over it doesn't even need to be discussed unless you decide to put it on the list for next year's purchase. This isn't your emergency fund, you don't mix the two. Many people have an emergency fund for car repairs, house repairs, etc. This is strictly for extra purchases.
No matter how you decide to agree to disagree or totally agree these tips help you get started on your quest for true communication and happiness with decision making. If any of these items have helped you in the past or if you think they are great ideas leave a message and tell us why.
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