Jane really really loves and cares about John, but doesn't feel like John is reciprocating the same love. This makes Jane feel like she is vulnerable to being hurt.
Because Jane feels threatened, she pulls away from John AND she starts picking stupid fights so John will start showing that he cares more.
This offends John because he doesn't like all of the conflict that Jane is causing.
Instead of showing her that he really loves her too...because of fear that he will be vulnerable to losing her...he acts defensively.
Pretty soon there is conflict all the time and each person feels upset and doesn't understand how this happened.
What I realized is weird? Most of the reason that people fight and hurt each other is because they LOVE each other. Most of conflict begins with LOVE. How weird is that? It's when things get so messy and beyond repair that people stop feeling love towards the other and feel like it is time to move on. So here are my thoughts on how to reduce conflict:
1. Serve each other. If you serve someone, you can't help but feel that love for them. You will stop feeling upset and angry at a person if you will selflessly serve them and think about their needs over your own.
2. Using "I" sentences rather than "You" sentences. Which sounds better? "YOU didn't call me and YOU just don't care and YOU never do this or that." OR...."I was just really sad that you didn't call me, because I really wanted to see you and it really hurts my feelings, because I really care about you." That sounds way better! Why? Because instead of attacking someone, you are responding with love and concern and communicating exactly how you feel.
3. Let go of the small stuff. Don't let stupid things get to you and then live inside of you. It is EXHAUSTING to be angry. And why be angry? I have never met someone that has said, "Man, being angry is the best feeling"...people don't make movies about how people fall into anger. They make movies about how people fall into love!
4. Responding with love. If someone is bugging you and you get defensive and angry, that is making the situation SO much worse. Maybe they are having a hard time and taking it out on you. Maybe they aren't communicating what they really feel, so you got to be the lucky one that they take all their anger out on. When someone is freaking out at you, rather than get all bugged and defensive, why not grab them...give them a hug...and say, "What's really wrong? And what can I do to help?"
5. Communication. I have found that when I feel myself getting frustrated or mad, if I talk directly to the person about how it made me feel or what I am thinking, things resolve 1,000,000 times faster! I can get it off my chest, and we can discuss it rather than hold the anger in and let things get way worse than they need to be.
So there ya go. There is my "Kelli wisdom" today. I have been trying really hard to live by these rules and it really has made the biggest difference. I can go to bed feeling at peace and I love people so much more than I ever have before. Try it! Why not?