Unless you live in a cave without any contact to the outside world chances are you are going to experience some level of conflict in life. Relationships, friendships, work partnerships, even cueing up in starbucks can cause conflict! The trick is being able to deal with these situations as they arise.
Here’s the thing, conflict is not always a bad thing- conflict is an opportunity for growth, an opportunity to assert yourself and not compromise on your values, it also has the ability to truly teach you about yourself.
So next time you are confronted with a situation use one of the following 9 simple ways to resolve the conflict!
Address The Problem Before It Escalates
This is the key to avoiding becoming resentful, when something comes up nip it in the bud before it becomes a bigger issue.
If your housemates keep leaving a mess in the kitchen, let them know it is unacceptable the first time around. The problem with letting a problem build is firstly the person who is doing the thing you don’t like, may not even know they are doing anything and if they do you have to set your boundaries and let them know it is unacceptable!
With all this being said, it doesn’t mean you cannot avoid conflict. If something is a one off event and there is no point in addressing it eg a drunk person shouting at you in the street, you can walk away as it is not always necessary to confront every situation.
Know What You Want And Don’t Sacrifice On Your Values For Resolution
Compromise is fine, but putting your personal values on the line to please someone else will again result in feeling resentful. This ultimately comes down to knowing yourself, knowing what you stand for and not going against this in order to please others.
Accept That You May Be Wrong
We are not robots, we all make mistakes and if you feel like you may be wrong about something accept it.
You don’t have to have too much pride, be ready to apologize and move on when you make mistakes. Life’s too short to be hanging onto the drama, especially if you are the creator of that drama!
Accept That You Both May Be Right- Just A Difference In Opinion
You could both be right, think what I said about values, if you are clear about what you stand for and the person who you are having conflict with is also clear, then you may have to just accept that and either part ways or find a mutually beneficial solution.
An example of this would be a small business partnership, one wants to stay small and one wants to expand. Neither are right or wrong, they just have a different idea of what they want in life.
I know a lot of people struggle to listen at the best of times, when you add a little conflict into the mix it intensifies the situation. You feel like you want your side of the story to be heard. Don’t do this at the expense of not hearing out the person you are in conflict with.
A lot of the time conflict arises because of a communication breakdown, you will not always be able to get the other party to listen to you, but this should not stop you from hearing them out.
Watch Your Words
Words can affect conflict big time- “What is wrong with you, why are you doing this?” can be the same as “What can we do about this situation?” or “How did we get to this place?”
Personal attacks will inflate the intensity and conflict within a situation, whereas remaining amicable will deflate it. I am realistic, sometimes if you have a screaming shouting person in your face it can be hard to bite your tongue, but do your best not to provoke the situation and remain calm. If things get too heated, try your best to remove yourself from the situation!
Thinks About Why They May Be Acting The Way They Are- Practice Compassion
You need to humanise the person you are in conflict with, no matter how ridiculous the conflict is. Just think if you had lived the life that this person has lived you would likely view the world in exactly the same way they do.
Compassion is one of the keys if we are ever to find any peace on this planet, you may not be able to act compassionately on behalf of others and the person you are in conflict with may not show you any, but this is not the point. Be compassionate in your own world and things will emanate outwards!
Put Yourself In Their Shoes- Practice Empathy
Empathy is a little different from compassion, it is to actually imagine yourself walking a mile in their shoes. To think about what kind of situations this person must have been in previously to make them act in this way and try to view the situation from their perspective.
Depending on how deep the conflict goes it may not just take a 5 minute sit down to solve. If you are in a long running conflict try your best to practice being patient. Keep working towards a resolution, but don’t expect it overnight.
So here are 9 ways you can simply resolve conflict, I hope you find them useful. Try to remember that you can try your best to resolve your problems, but we are not in control of anyone else but ourselves. If we find ourselves constantly surrounded by drama, first make sure we are not the cause, if it turns out that we are not think about what we can do to remove ourselves from these situations!
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