We’ve all been there, holding our tongue when someone in our polycule says or does something we don’t agree with. But what can you do when it happens all the time? You can’t get away from this person because you’re intertwined in poly life, so you need to develop a coping strategy.
Here are a few suggestions for how you can handle disagreements and make your poly life a lot less stressful.
Don’t Fake It
Even if it feels awkward, being honest about how you feel is important. The whole poly philosophy is based on honesty, so it’s actually detrimental to your relationships to pretend that everything is fine when it isn’t. You don’t have to be mean about it, just straight forward.
Use “I feel” statements to avoid casting blame, but be clear about what’s bothering you about the person’s behaviour.
Don’t Force It
If reconciliation doesn’t come quickly or naturally, don’t force it. It can take time to resolve differences or learn to appreciate one another. Just because you’ve been brought together by your connections to other people in your polycule doesn’t mean that you have to be the best of friends. It’s okay to disagree or to choose not to hang out.
It’s great when everybody gets along, but it’s not always a realistic expectation. You should never feel the need to force yourself into friendships for the benefit of the group. They either happen naturally or they don’t.
Don’t Interfere with Other Relationships
It’s one thing to disagree with someone, it’s a whole other thing to be vengeful and try to sabotage their relationships. Even if your partner has an intimate relationship with this person and you worry that it isn’t healthy or you can’t understand how your partner can be in love with all the aspects of this person that drive you nuts, you need to back off.
It’s okay to express your concerns, but don’t try to control the outcome. This can be one of the most challenging aspects of being poly.
No matter what, you need to show respect. Try to work out your differences, but if you can’t, at the very least be civil to one another. You don’t want to make things unbearable for everyone else by turning every kitchen table meeting into a shit show. Try to agree to disagree.
You might find in time that you are able to work things out. You don’t want to jeopardize that possibility by being so extremely awful to one another.
Do you have an example of how you’ve handled conflicts within your polycule? Share it in the comments!