The Power of Yielding: A New Approach to Relationship Conflict

by Dr. Nichelle Chandler
April 18, 2024

Getting trapped in our own perspectives is easy in the heat of an argument. We hold onto our beliefs and opinions fiercely, convinced of their rightness. But what if there's another way? What if, instead of battling it out, we chose to yield? 

Introducing: Yielding to Win

The Gottman approach to conflict resolution introduces the concept of "accepting influence." But what does that mean? It's about stepping aside from our egos and being open to our partner's perspective. It's about finding flexibility amidst the rigidity of our viewpoints.

How to Yield to Win

So, how do we accept influence from our partner and yield to win? It starts with finding common ground. Even amid disagreement, there's usually something we can agree on with our partner. It's about acknowledging that they have valid points, even if we don't see eye-to-eye on everything. And when we find that point of agreement, we vocalize it. We say, "That makes sense," or "I can see your point."

Doing this creates a space for mutual understanding and compassion to flourish. We let go of the need to "win" the argument and instead focus on finding a resolution together.

Challenges with Yielding to Win

Of course, yielding to win can be challenging. Many of us fear it makes us appear weak or give up our perspective. But it takes strength to admit when our partner has a valid point. It's about prioritizing the health of the relationship over our pride.

Benefits of Yielding to Win

When we yield to our partner, we pave the way for compromise and understanding. It fosters a sense of mutual respect and appreciation, leading to greater relationship satisfaction. Accepting influence creates a foundation of trust and connection that strengthens our bond.


Ultimately, wanting to stick to our guns in a disagreement is natural. But by bravely choosing to put down our pride and acknowledge our partner's perspective, we open the door to resolution and harmony. It's about finding common ground, even during conflict, and prioritizing the health of our relationship above all else. So, let's embrace the power of yielding and move forward together, hand in hand. And remember, couples therapy is always an option if you need extra support.

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