(Written by Kate Simmons) Conflict is a natural part of life and is a part of every life at some point, whether you like it or not. Many people meet with conflict while at work and it can enter into home life as well. Husband and wives can see conflict amongst themselves in regards to money or personal issues, such as bedroom problems. With children, the most common conflict will be in relation to chores or observance of the rules.
The best way to deal with conflict is by knowing what the most effective way is to approach conflict. The important thing to keep in mind is to be respectful and make the other person feel that you care about their thoughts and feelings.
Avoiding conflict completely is impossible, there will inevitably be times when things will happen to upset or anger you and times when you will upset or anger someone else. The most important thing is that you talk about how you feel and allow others to tell you how they feel too. If a conflict is escalating and looks like it could potentially become violent, you need to remove yourself from the situation and take time to cool down. Here is a guide to effectively dealing with conflict.
Step1: Cool It
The first thing that you need to do when approaching conflict is to calm down and approach the issue rationally. Some great ways to calm down are:
- Take a few deep slow breaths
- Count backwards from ten
- Take a walk
The second step is to be aware of exactly why you are upset or angry. Be sure that the issue at hand is the real problem and that you are not projecting ill feelings resulting from something else.
Step3: Bring It Up
Privately confront the person who is involved in the conflict. Tell them how you feel, or if you are the person who caused the issue or was wrong, apologize. Sometimes saying sorry is all that is required to resolve a problem.
- Be calm and make eye contact
- Allow the other person a chance to speak without interruption.
- Make “I” statements in order to avoid sounding accusing. Example: “I feel like you don’t like me when you bring coffee for everyone else and not me.”
Step4: Take Some Space
It may be a good idea to take a break from the conversation when:
- The other person is becoming agitated or violent
- The other person is not interested in talking
- You feel yourself becoming angrier and are having a hard time controlling your temper.
Whether you are resolving a conflict with your child or with your spouse, the outlined methods of conflict resolution will help you cope with the issue better. In the instance that the problem cannot be resolved amongst those involved, it may be necessary to enlist the help of an outsider.
A person unrelated to the situation can help to mediate and keep the communication lines open and respectful. Some people that you can seek mediation from are priests, pastors, reverends, counselors, therapists, or your family physician.
* Photo Courtesy of Pinterest
About the Author: This is a guest post by Kate Simmons who enjoys researching new topics, nowadays putting extra focus on effective parenting, family conflict resolution, and the dynamics of family life. For more on managing conflicts, check out conflictres.acu.edu. Kate is an aspiring family counselor and is about to start a family of her own.