Whether it is in your relationships with your significant other, on the job, or in the line at the grocery store, conflict is inevitable. And the way that you will handle it will make all the difference in the outcome.
Here are a few tips that can help you handle any source of conflict that comes your way.
Listen effectively. That’s really hard, especially when you have something very important that you want to say or when you feel like the other person is not listening to you. But as with anything else in life, if you want somebody to give you something, you have to be willing to give it to them as well. Therefore, listen to the other person and hear where they are coming from and leverage this experience as a resource for you to also begin to communicate your point.
Identify specific points of disagreement. It’s easy to say “I felt disrespected” or ” you get on my nerves” but that does little to let the other person know specifically what they did to offend you. You have to learn how to identify what your specific needs are so that the other person will know how to address your specific needs. What you might feel disrespected or misunderstood by, might mean something else to the other person and it’s not until you clearly define what the issues are and how the other person violates them, that you can actually make progress with them.
View conflict as an opportunity for growth. With the lack of human connection that we experience with social media, as well as the current trends in society that promote individual happiness, it is very easy to terminate relationships today. But that prevents relationships from growing. If you focus on the fact that paying attention to relationships will help them to grow and be healthier, the chances of making progress in these relationships will improve. The more you’re able to resolve conflict with people, the more intimate you will be with them so the next time you are faced with something that seems to be so challenging, remember that on the other side of that conflict is a closer relationship with that person.
Focus on specific issues without generalizing or escalating the situation. In anger, people often use terminology like “you always do this,” or “you never listen to me.” Not only is this not true because nothing is 100%, but it leaves the other person feeling defeated because they feel like you won’t acknowledge the times that they do get things right and that’s frustrating. To make matters worse, when a person feels like their acknowledgment will go unnoticed with you, they’re less likely to do the things that you need them to do because they expect you to deny their efforts in the long run.
Relationships are so complicated, but with the proper support, you can make the progress that you need.
If you would like one of our therapists to support you along this journey, please let us know today by booking a free 15-minute consultation.