3 Healthy Ways To Deal With Conflict
When you think of conflict, your mind probably goes to a negative place. Conflict isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It carries a negative connotation, but it isn’t always necessarily a bad thing. It can be a sign of needed change. It can be a sign of growth and newfound understanding.
Conflict is a natural thing and will happen in just about every type of relationship you have at one time or another. Since conflict is essentially unavoidable, knowing how to manage it is an important life skill to develop.
Identify Or Establish Boundaries
Boundaries are valuable for many reasons, whether in a relationship, in a friendship, at work, or even how you approach your day to day life. Healthy boundaries help to provide a guideline for what is appropriate or acceptable behavior. It’s essentially a way to promote your safety and that of your counterpart.
When it pertains to conflict, knowing what you will and absolutely will not accept can be helpful in navigating productively. If you’ve never set boundaries before, now is a good time to start.
As you identify your boundaries, your clear expectations for yourself and others around you, you hopefully will find a sense of empowerment and confidence. Use this empowerment to be more assertive when coming face to face with conflict. The more confident you are, the less you will gravitate towards a victim mindset.
Being assertive can aid in resolving conflict rather than avoiding it. Those clear expectations pave the way for improved understanding amongst your relationships and more trust in dealing with whatever is causing conflict.
Separate The Person From The Issue
No two people are going to get along or see eye to eye on every issue one hundred percent of the time. Everyone is unique and is entitled to their own opinions. Being right or being the winner against another person isn’t going to resolve conflict.
When a problem arises, it’s important to be able to reflect on the situation and make the problem or behavior a specific issue and not the other person involved. If you make conflict about a person, it can often lead to resentment and unhealthy dynamics. Over time, this negativity can fester and become a much larger issue.
Instead, shift the narrative and have it be team versus the conflict. If you both work together to face the conflict, not only can you find a resolution more productively, but you can also work on building trust with that person. No matter what the conflict is about, you’re usually not going to “fix” another person.
It is human nature to want to be heard and to get your point across no matter what the situation is. As an issue becomes something important or the stakes get higher, this tendency may kick in even harder.
When dealing with conflict, you need to remember that as much as you have this need to be heard, the other person involved has that same need. One of the best things you can do when conflict arises is to listen to not only your own needs, but also to turn on your active listening ears.
Paraphrase the information you have received in conversation. Ask clarifying questions. Be empathetic, even when you don’t necessarily agree with the other person. Making sincere efforts to listen and engage will go a long way in conflict resolution and relationship building.
At the end of the day, remember conflict isn’t something to be afraid of. Keep calm and be patient with yourself and the other person involved. If you’re having a difficult time addressing conflict in a healthy manner, contact us to learn more.