Updated: Apr 1
Each one of us in our daily lives run across many situations of conflict and these situations pop up in our lives over and over again to help us grow. So we can choose take them as something happening to us or we can choose to navigate through them with the idea that each situation has been presented to us as an opportunity.
Basically, in short we can either choose to be a victim and look at the world as beating us down or we can we flip that idea and see it as always working in our favor. Even the times that are tough become a positive when we become grateful for opportunities that help us grow.
When it comes to conflict between people we could consider the following ideas to help us navigate through these situations and come out on the other end as an win-win situation for both parties.
1. Give up the need to be "RIGHT"
I've honestly found in most conflict, arguments and disagreements there is a serious breakdown in communication often times I work with people and I ask them have you spoke to the person you are upset about? I usually get a very aggressive response stating they have tried but no one is listening!
As I probe deeper into the topic I typically find the individual is upset because the person they are upset with will not "change" so they themselves can feel better.
It's very interesting to watch "we have all done it" we think to ourselves if "THEY" would just listen to me everything would be fine! Or if they would just stop and listen to me they would see how I am feeling!
I can tell you in these scenarios the person upset is also not listening to the person they are upset with either. As you can probably imagine they are also not listening to themselves. Overall, they are wanting the other person to see their point but not wanting to see the other persons point.
This leads me to think about Stephen Covey and one of the Habits of Highly Successful people which is: Seek First to Understand and then to Be Understood - Basically if you stop and LISTEN - Get Still and listen to not only the other persons needs but also to stop and get honest about what you are truly wanting you would be able to gain a clearer perspective.
Often times we are just upset and we are not thinking about what we are saying and not fully aware of what we are feeling. Which leads me to the next step...
2. Process your thoughts and understand them before you address them with another person.
So typically what I find is people allow things to build up and never really think about whatever is upsetting them. As they let their reactions build up and keep pushing them aside, this poison festers inside of them and leaves their mind to wander and think things that are either not true or are completely distorted.
This is why you should take sometime to think about what it is that is truly bothering you and while you are at it.. try to think about the other persons perspective while you are processing your perspective.
Once you have processed what is going on within you and you still feel like you need to talk about your feelings then do so...
3. Speak your truth and do it with compassion
I can guarantee you nothing comes from yelling at another person or telling them what they are doing wrong.. if you spend your time speaking your truth by just addressing how many things another person is doing wrong then I can tell you it will push on their ego..Most likely it wont be received well...
Try saying this as you speak to others about what is bothering you:
"I need to talk to you about something that has been bothering me and let me start by saying my emotions in this situation are about me not about you...
Then go on by saying:
"I wanted to know what you mean by when you say ___________________ because I received it this way ________.
These two statements make sure that you take ownership for your feelings and are not projecting them on to the other person and you are also asking for clarification on what their intention was...
Which leads me to the next step...
4. We want to pay attention to another persons intentions
You have no idea how many times I work with couples, friends, co-workers that look at another and say "YOU ARE MAKING ME FEEL LIKE THIS WAY!" and the truth is no they are not... no one can make you feel anything you can only feel something.. No one has this kind of power over you.. ONLY YOU DO!
This is why you ask for clarification one what anothers intentions are this way you can make sure you understood correctly what they meant prior to expressing how you feel.
Recently, I had a friend accuse me of being rude on a social media site and while she was doing this.. I was expressing to her what my intention were, as we were speaking she insisted I needed to correct how I was speaking and treating her. I continued to ask her how is that I can make you feel this way when my intention was coming from a place of curiosity and love? I finally had to back away from the conversation because the more I attempted to talk to her the more she got upset. In this instance she was basing her reactions on her perceptions of the situation and not what my true intentions were.
A persons intentions are the most important part of communication and understanding them helps us really break down and streamline conflict resolution. This is because if you understand where someone is coming from then you can look at your own reaction and assess whether you need to look within yourself or set a boundary with your friend.
5. Communicate Clear Boundaries with people
There is nothing wrong with saying to people this is what I like or do not like.. nothing at all... how we deliver this is very important... after we have gained clarification and after we have expressed how we have felt we can say these are things I do not like or do like... Once we have processed our own reaction and understand anothers perception we then can do this from a place of mutual respect and love.
6. It's fairly important to not feel the need to have the last word
If you really stop and think about this and if you are a person who has the desire or need to have the last word all the time. Then stop and listen to what is going on inside of you. Why do you need to have the last word. If you even begin to start thinking well they need to hear my perspective and they are not hearing me then you might as well go back to step one in this article because you still have more processing to do.
7. Use these tools for "SELF-ASSESSMENT" not for Analyzing another person...
I know some of you are reading this and thinking about someone right now and thinking if they only followed this they would not have the problems they are having.. Come on admit it? Its ok because we have all done this! Now stop and take a moment and turn the reflection inward and process this on you.. not another!
8. Last but not least and most important... You cannot and I repeat CANNOT change anybody!
I know we have all heard this but as our world changes around us and the dynamics of our relationships change our Fearful mind can lash out and try to fulfill it's need to control it's surroundings and this includes trying to control others. This again is a time to stop and take a look at ourselves and use these steps as a guide to help us become more self aware.
Once again realize that the whole world is presenting you with many opportunities to grow and develop yourself into a greater person. This is done so you can find a greater sense of peace, happiness and understanding of yourself and others.
Happy Self Awareness!
Much love to you!