While it may sometimes feel like we have to outsmart our feelings so as not to get hurt, when it comes to our relationships, we are far better off being vulnerable, making a practice of being the one who loves more.
Refusal to compromise is widely considered to be the root cause of political polarization, business battles, and divorce wars. But refusal to compromise isn't actually the cause of these problems. It's merely a symptom. The real problem is unwillingness to tolerate uncertainty.
Whenever I'm embroiled in this kind of dynamic and (hallelujah!) manage to make it out the other side, I get majorly humbled -- all concepts of myself as a conscious, loving, evolved human being completely blown to smithereens.
In my work with couples, they may tell me that they had a big fight, and when I ask what they were fighting about, they often can't remember. The reason for this is that it's rarely the issue itself, but how they are dealing with the issue that creates the most problems.
There's nothing wrong with occasional fights between partners. However, relationship issues multiply when fighting becomes the the expected mode of communication. This familiar battling debilitates rather than promotes a couple's bond.
A person with "oppositional conversational style" is a person who, in conversation, disagrees with and corrects whatever you say. Maybe in a friendly way, maybe in a belligerent way, but their remarks are framed in opposition to whatever you say.
If you ever talk over each other, if your discussions have a tendency to turn into arguments or if you feel you are not being heard, then the talking stick is an excellent way to communicate and can save enormous amounts of time, energy and heartache within your relationship.
Refusing to say, "I'm sorry, I was wrong" leaves you powerless because you can't change anything. It alienates you from other people and keeps you trapped inside the conflict forever. But when you say, "I'm sorry, I was wrong," you give yourself the power to change.