The Ability to Resolve Conflict, in a positive way

Posted by: Rose Tol, R&I Life Coaching, April 9, 2013 Resolve Conflict in Relationship Questions

Conflict is an unavoidable and a completely natural part of any healthy relationship. Conflicts can bring up intense emotions and therefor are such excellent opportunities for growth. Most of us we never got taught how to deal with conflicts and the emotions that come with it. The ability to resolve conflicts is a must and a joy because you will be able to turn conflicts into opportunities resulting into close bonds with others.

What are Conflicts in Relationships?

Conflict arises when we have differences with each other. Differences in opinion, in ideas, values, perceptions, motivations and desires. It does not matter if the differences are small or big, small disagreements can trigger strong emotions because the way we respond to conflict is based on our perceptions. We need to possess good emotional health; being comfortable with our emotions and manage them in a healthy way in times of conflict.

When we ignore conflicts they can continue to fester inside of us and will not be let go off until we face the situation and find resolve.

What lies at the core of the disagreements and triggers in conflict is the fact that one of the 6 Basic Human Needs did not get met. Everyone has a need for certainty, uncertainty, significance, connection & Love, growth and contribution. (You can read more about these human needs here.)

The way that these needs are fulfilled vary greatly from person to person. Also the importance of each need varies from person. It is therefor important that we know what each others needs are and how to specifically meet this need for the other and ourselves. If we are lacking understanding about the needs of the other, that's when arguments take up the space, disputes show up and through misunderstandings separation is the result.

If we care enough to find out, from the people that we relate with on a daily basis, what their main needs are and how to fulfill them, when disagreements happen we can resolve conflict by taking a step back and together look at what is at the bottom of the disagreement; What need is not being met? Through understanding we can open ourselves up to compassion and find solutions to fulfill that need in a way that is for both parties agreeable. At that moment we have deepened our connection with the other person by expanding our awareness.

How do You Respond to Conflict?

  • Avoid conflict at all costs?
  • Feel that any criticism or disagreement is an attack on you?
  • Hit "below the belt" and regret it later?
  • Feel out of control when conflict arises?
  • Withdraw and become silent when you're angry?
  • Store up complaints from the distant past?

How to Resolve Conflict?

  1. First you need to be able to be comfortable with your emotions, not to judge them or want to change them so that you can manage your feelings and behavior in a healthy way during times of conflict. Read emotional health if you like to learn more about it. Healthy ways includes the ability to stay calm, to have no defense and to have respect for the other no matter what. Being emotionally aware is the key to understanding yourself and others. If you don’t know how you feel or why you feel the way you feel, you won’t be able to communicate effectively or resolve disagreements.
  2. The understanding and the trust that to resolve conflict, and face your self and the other, is a better way to go then to ignore or deny the conflict. if you have a problem with someone, stop, think, talk, and resolve.
  3. You need to be able to recognize and respond to the things that matter to the other person.
  4. A readiness to forgive and let go, and to move past the conflict without holding resentments or anger.
  5. The ability to seek compromise and avoid punishing
  6. If you are wrong, admit is quickly and take responsibility
  7. Be the best listener you have ever been and put more focus on trying to understand the need of the other then being concerned communicating your own hurt feelings. Invite the other person to share his or her point of view. Be careful not to interrupt, and genuinely try to hear his or her concerns and feelings. Try to restate what you heard in a way that lets your partner know you fully understood, and ask your partner to do the same for you.
  8. Learn to put yourself in the shoes of the other person you try to resolve conflict. Try to take the other's perspective; that is, try to see the problem through his or her eyes. The opposing viewpoint can make sense to you, even if you don't agree with it.
  9. If a situation becomes verbally abusive, stop the interaction, take a break to cool down, and resume the conversation when calm.
  10. Change the environment
  11. Be specific about what is bothering you.Vague complaints are hard to work on. Try not to generalize. Avoid words like "never" or "always." Such generalizations are usually inaccurate and will heighten tensions.
  12. Exaggerating or inventing a complaint - or your feelings about it - will prevent the real issues from surfacing. Stick with the facts and your honest feelings.

Challenges to Overcome to Resolve Conflict

  1. Conflict may feel more threatening to you than it really is. The fear and avoidance of conflict; the expectation of bad outcomes
  2. An inability to recognize and respond to the things that matter to the other person
  3. No control over your emotions and fall in the trap of blaming the other.
    Explosive, angry, hurtful, and resentful reactions
  4. The withdrawal of love, resulting in rejection, isolation, shaming, and fear of abandonment
  5. An inability to compromise or see the other person’s side. Be aware of and respectful of differences.

Seek Mediation to Resolve Conflict

Sometimes, despite our best fair-fighting efforts, a disagreement or conflict seems insurmountable. When this occurs, talking with a trained professional can help. A trained mediator can help you communicate more effectively and eventually work your way through to a solution. Mediation services are offered here at R&I Life Coaching.

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