This article is based on an expert interview with Kelli Miller, LCSW, MSW, conducted by wikiHow Staff Editors. Kelli Miller is a Psychotherapist, Author, and TV/radio host based in Los Angeles, California. Kelli is currently in private practice and specializes in individual and couples' relationships, depression, anxiety, sexuality, communication, parenting, and more. Kelli also facilitates groups for those struggling with alcohol and drug addiction as well as anger management groups. As an author, she received a Next Generation Indie Book Award for her book "Thriving with ADHD: A Workbook for Kids" and also wrote "Professor Kelli's Guide to Finding a Husband". Kelli was a host on LA Talk Radio, a relationship expert for The Examiner, and speaks globally. You can also see her work on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/kellibmiller, Instagram @kellimillertherapy, and her website: www.kellimillertherapy.com. She received her MSW (Masters of Social Work) from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in Sociology/Health from the University of Florida.
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Conflict is a natural part of every relationship, even the strongest ones. To maintain healthy relationships with others, it’s important to know how to manage these moments of tension. In this video, Licensed Clinical Social Worker Kelli Miller explains three common mistakes to avoid that make going into conflicts, and coming out of them, a little easier.
- Pick a time when both you and the other person are calm before you talk so you’re less likely to argue.
- Always assume that the other person is coming from a positive, or at least neutral, place—people are rarely trying to purposely hurt other people.
- Conflict is a normal part of any healthy relationship.
I think the first thing is timing. It's very important that you pick a time when both people are ready to talk. It's very easy when you're in that moment to be reactive and feel like, “I have to say it now.” But timing is going to make a world of difference because both people are going to be more receptive at the right time. The second piece is that conflict is normal. I think there's this idea that if we're getting in fights with people that something's wrong, and it's not, we're all wired differently, so we have to remember that this is part of a healthy relationship. And a good rule of thumb is to always assume a neutral or positive intent from somebody. Right? You want to believe that your friend is a good person, that we're all good people and we're just trying to do our best. It's rare that someone is actually purposely trying to hurt us. And if we can remember that we can go into conflicts a little bit easier.