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Positive Psychology of Love$
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M. Hojjat and Duncan Cramer

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199791064

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199791064.001.0001

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Handling Conflicts Positively

Handling Conflicts Positively

(p.134) 10 Handling Conflicts Positively
Positive Psychology of Love

Lorne Campbell

Sarah C. E. Stanton

Oxford University Press

In close relationships, conflict occurs when the needs and desires of partners diverge and are thus incompatible. Because partners interact with each other regarding a number of issues important to their relationship over time, it is inevitable that conflict will occur to at least some degree in every relationship. The existence of conflict in relationships is not always detrimental to relationship satisfaction or stability, and if managed positively conflicts have the potential to actually enhance the well-being of the relationship. In this chapter we discuss conflict as it relates to positive psychology, integrating an interdependence theory perspective, and review research demonstrating how a more active approach to managing relationship conflict can lead to beneficial relationship maintenance and outcomes. The quality of relationships can be maintained over time, therefore, not because of the absence of interpersonal conflict, but by how intimates deal with conflict when it arises.

Keywords:   Conflict, interdependence, accommodation, dyads, romantic relationships

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