Handling Conflicts Effectively

two girlfriends outdoorWhen a conflict arises, whether it is between friends or between you and someone who is responsible for you, it is never easy to deal with. The truth is there is no set way to approach every situation that is going to work every time because every situation is different. There are, however tips to help you when approaching a difficult situation that could become confrontational. Here is a list of points to keep in mind:

1. Respect.

This is perhaps the most important thing on this list. People easily get caught up in the heat of the moment and forget that they are speaking to another person that deserves respect. This can cause them to say things they don’t necessarily mean out of anger. It is important that you state your side of the issue in a way that allows you to be clear but most importantly, respectful.

2. Consider the other person’s point of view.

As the saying goes, there are three sides to every story; your side, their side, and the truth. Sometimes it’s easier to take a step back and try to understand where the other person is coming from. This is not only helpful to them, but also to you as you can strengthen your side by anticipating how they may respond to certain things. Being open to compromise can help because it prevents issues from resurfacing by allowing both sides to feel that they didn’t yield more than they gained.

3. Make sure you can explain your point of view clearly.

Miscommunication can be the root of all evil in an argument and can even cause the conflict to become bigger. There is no way to fix a problem if you are not clear on what the problem is.

4. Make sure it’s the right place and time

There is a time and place for everything in life and determining this can be difficult. Try to choose a time when you can both talk calmly and there are no other distractions that may prevent you from reaching a solution

5. Control and Communicate emotions

It’s easy to let your emotions take control but when you allow this, you may feel vulnerable and that can cause you to say things you don’t necessarily mean in the heat of the moment. It is important to express how you feel but its best to do so calmly.

6. Avoid direct blame

When you are being blamed for something, your natural instinct is to defend yourself. That’s why in an argument, you should avoid blaming others, and focus the conversation more on expressing how you feel. For example, instead of saying “You hurt me” try saying “I feel hurt.” This expresses the same idea, but in a more effective way.

7. Believe in your relationship

Believe your relationship with the person you are having a disagreement with is strong and important enough to work through your differences. There is no problem that is bigger than any relationship worth having in your life.

The reality of life is that you are going to run into problems with others, it’s a part of human nature. With experience, you will learn how to resolve those differences in a respectful and effective way. The ultimate goal is to solve the problem and these are just a few universal tips to help.

– Katlyn