Have you got conflict in your life? Then you need to deal with that stat! For though you might think that it will go away on its own, often such things will only get worse. Even if they don’t, if nobody takes steps to resolve such issues, then there is a good chance relationships will end up broken and the longer you wait with dealing with such problems, the harder it will be to mend them again.
Besides, it’s always a good idea to be proactive instead of reactive. That’s true not just in terms of conflict resolution but in terms of every part of your life. So what are you waiting for? Try these things to help you.
First, take a breather
The first thing that’s vital is for you to calm down. This might not seem to gel with what I’ve just said, but there is being proactive and then there is making things worse because you’re moving too fast. And when you’re still hot in the head, that can lead to you exploding again. And that is not how you resolve conflict (though it is a great way to see who can scream louder).
It is important that before you go back, you let your anger cool down. Even better, it would be nice if you have some idea of what the other person’s position is. Why did they say what they said? Why did they do what they did? If you can get in their shoes, then it might be possible to control your anger entirely.
Even if that’s not possible, find ways to calm down.
You can’t resolve unless you talk
After that, you need to actually speak with the person. In the best situation, both sides will want to sit down and deal with the problem. Of course, you might not always be in that kind of a position. In that case, the other person might continue sniping and continue the conflict. That can be difficult to deal with. Nonetheless, it is vital that you take the high road and do not rise to the baiting.
Just as importantly, don’t feel superior for taking the high road. Because you’ll be unable to resolve the conflict if the other person think you’re being arrogant and holier than thou.
Focus on the problem not the person
A conflict happens with a person but it happens about a topic. If you want to resolve a conflict, then you need to deal with the latter and not with the former. So no saying ‘you’re always like this’ or ‘you never listen’. These types of phrases will likely just make the situation worse. So, if you hear yourself using them stop, apologize and return to the actual problem you’re trying to deal with.
Instead, focus on the actual problem on the ground. If you can resolve that and deal with that in an adult manner, then there is a high chance that you might be able to deal with the conflict.
Yes, you probably have a lot to say – in fact you might have so many things you want to talk about you could write an essay about it. The thing is, chances are the other person does too. If you want to make sure the conflict gets resolved, it might be best to let them talk first and to listen actively. That means not spending the time when they’re talking deciding what to say next. First of all, you’re going to miss what the other person is saying if you do that. Secondly, they’re going to notice and that will get their back up.
And always remember the saying, “Anything that comes before the word ‘but’ doesn’t really matter”.
Focus on where you agree
You can often diffuse a lot of problems simply by focusing on those points you agree. Because when you do that, you’re creating common ground from which you can then approach the situations about which you don’t actually agree.
The great thing about such common ground is that once you’ve established it’s there, you might be able to shift the conflict from one where you’re against each other, to one where you’re with each other and both attempting to solve the problem that you have. That’s a far more constructive place to be.
It might take time
And finally, remember that though you might want the conflict to be resolved right now, that’s not always possible. Sometimes, after having the talk it is better to give the other person some space to calm down as well. Then, at some later point, when they’ve thought about it, they’ll be able to forgive and even forget.
So don’t try to force these things. That might undo all of your hard work. Instead, create some progress and then let time – the best healer – work her magic.