Dating Den Episode 271 – With Jayson Gaddis: How to Use Conflict to Unlock Lasting Attraction and Intimacy with Men
Marni welcomes relationship expert Jayson Gaddis into the Den to discuss lessons gleaned from his latest book, Getting to Zero: How to Work Through Conflict in Your High-Stakes Relationships. In addition to being an author and coach who teaches people how to do relationships, Jayson is also the host of the long-running The Relationship School Podcast.
Key takeaways from this episode:
- What is conflict in a relationship
- Tips for working through conflict in a relationship
- Becoming a relational leader
- Creating a baseline of where feels good to both partners
- Avoiding inner conflict
Identifying and Resolving Conflicts in Relationships [2:26]
Jayson defines conflict as a rupture, disconnection, or an unresolved issue between two people. Conflict can be voiced or the stuff we are not saying. We are all challenging when it comes to interpersonal dynamics. especially if we live together.
Silence is one of the worst conflicts. It can be extremely brutal for some. Those most susceptible to silence or a lack of response can make stuff up in their mind to fill the space — especially with those who are triggered by abandonment or rejection.
Jayson adds that the most successful relationships he has witnessed are those where both partners are willing to embrace conflict and get better at it over time.
Getting to Zero [11:01]
Many people do not know how to work through conflict. They may be scared to lose the other person and lean into manipulation or childish behavior. Jayson says, it can make us feel vulnerable to put ourselves out there and humans are naturally sensitive to rejection.
The right person wants to create a connection and get to zero. What is zero? In his book, Jayson describes zero as a happy place where both partners feel good and connected. A baseline. We want to have a baseline that feels safe, secure, and good.
Conflict can rupture the baseline. Returning to baseline (zero) as a couple is the goal. One person can’t do it alone. It takes two.
Become a Relational Leader in a High-stakes Relationship [16:32]
We often get hurt and angry during a conflict but someone has to be the first to initiate repair and interconnection. A leader has to realize what is good for the relationship and do the right thing.
Relationship Tip — When you are in a conflict or snag, decide how you can get zero as a team. You want to have multiple ways to get back to zero.
One way is to stay in the same room and look each other in the eyes. Jayson says, when we are not looking our partner in the eye we go into memory and all the negative memories can bubble up.
When dealing with conflict in a relationship, maintain eye contact. See the person, not the story.
People want relational space to be fair. And, fair is taking responsibility for your 50% of the relationship. Fair means both partners are invested in finding the solution to conflict.
Relationship Tip — Consider the three entities in your relationship. You, your partner, and your relationship. Each needs to be nurtured and understood.
Fighting and conflict are what lead us to deeper understandings of ourselves and each other.
Anytime you avoid outer conflict you are creating inner conflict because you are withholding your truth. You betray yourself to keep the connection.
Relationship Tool — LUFU: Listen Until they Feel Understood
If the security of a relationship is threatened by the behavior of one, move on because the relationship is not safe for both people.
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