Conflict Management For People Who Hate Arguments

Conflict makes me cringe. Every time I am faced with a situation that involves conflict, you can guarantee that I am mentally planning my quickest escape route. Although my first reaction is to run away and hide, it is probably not the best plan of action when it comes to resolving a conflict that is staring at you right in the face. Conflict is a part of our daily lives and can spark from the smallest things. Conflict can occur between family members, friends, co-workers, interactions at the store, and so on. No one is exempt from experiencing conflict, but it is how you handle it and how you move forward after a conflict that genuinely matters. If you allow conflict to rule your relationships and life by avoiding it or resisting to resolve it, then I can guarantee you, that you will not live a happy life and will drag down other people with you. If you continuously avoid conflict at all costs, then you will make your life more difficult. TRUST ME! Whether you have a conflict at home or work, these tips can be applied in any situation. It might be in your best interest to do these steps in order, but any of these tips can help you regardless of where you are at with facing conflict. Without further ado, here are four tips on how to make your life easier by facing conflict and resolving it. 1. Find the root of the conflict. This a crucial step to take as you can’t solve an issue if you do not know what needs to be addressed. Take some time to reflect on what happened during the situation that conflict occurred. We as humans can tend to embellish our perspective on a story or memory based on how we are feeling. By embellishing stories, we can cause our minds to jump to conclusions and think the worst of people or concoct ideas that did not occur. You want to avoid embellishing a situation steeped in conflict, as it can add fuel to the fire. During your reflection, try to discover what initially causes the conflict to spark. Did you negatively respond to your co-worker? Was there a breakdown in communication on a project between you and your boss? Did you feel disrespected by a co-worker or even a family member? Then establish what occurred as a result of the conflict. How did the other person or persons react to the incident? How did the encounter finish? Even if you have to write it out every single detail, make sure you get the details of the situation in order before approaching the other person. WHATEVER YOU DO, do not contact the other person is involved when you are emotional! 2. Look beyond the conflict. Replaying the scene of conflict is the easy part! Once you have discovered what the root of the conflict is, try to look beyond the emotions and personal thoughts you may have as a result. You’ll want to look at the situation as objectively as possible. Try to imagine yourself as a spectator watching what went down during the scene of conflict. Or exercise viewing the situation from the other individuals’ point of view. Imagine how they must have felt in the incident. Then, examine your actions and see how your actions could have affected the other person. When we have more understanding of why a person acts the way they do, it is easier for us as humans to be more understanding and relate to others. If you need to gain more knowledge as to how the other person saw this situation, try asking another person who witnessed the conflict occur on how they viewed the incident. 3. Constructively find resolutions. Once you spent time reflecting and gaining insight into the conflict, it is a great time to confront the other person to discuss the conflict. Scary, I know, but sometimes you need to rip off the band-aid! When you meet with the other person, find a quiet, private area to talk in person. WARNING! DO NOT USE ANY FORM OF DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS TO DISCUSS CONFLICT WITH OTHER. THIS CAN MAKE YOUR PROBLEM WORSE!   As we well know, the tone of someone’s message cannot be read in the same way the sender initially intended it to sound. No matter the use and number of emojis a person uses! During your conversation, discuss what happened and how you both can resolve the conflict. By discussing this together, you are effectively working together to change things for the better. If you feel that you need to have another person present to act as mediator, then find a person that can be objective and see the situation from both points of view. But do not involve more people in the situation than needed. Too many cooks in the kitchen can result in a chaotic mess; just do not do it. During your conversation, try to listen first before speaking and remain calm. Avoid getting defensive when receiving feedback from the other person. Acting defensively at this point will get you nowhere and will make the issue worse. Try to keep your mind open and continue to try to see the other person’s point of view.   4. Agree on solutions. After discussing how to resolve the conflict, make an effort to agree on a solution to resolving the conflict. How your solution to resolving the conflict looks like depends entirely on what transpired, but it is essential that everyone involved feels heard and that an agreement to change or improve is in place. THEN TAKE ACTION ON THAT AGREEMENT! So what’s the point of jumping through all those hoops of resolving conflict? Conflict can be a beneficial thing! It can strengthen relationships between the people involved. It helps you to be more understanding of others and relate to them. You learn something about yourself. It can drastically improve the work environment. All in all, by mastering conflict management, you can build character and build relationships… not tear them down! What other tips do you have for managing conflict? Written by Cheyenne Flerx

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