4 Ways To Make Facing Conflict Easier
Conflict. Who likes it? No one! But we can’t avoid it because we all come from different walks of life, have different experiences, and see things differently. So, of course, we’re going to clash.
Let’s face it: Working through conflict, especially marital strife, is hard, and remaining calm is even harder.
Although dealing with conflict is never easy, remembering that we have different perspectives reduces its intensity – that we’re not necessarily wrong but see things differently.
Here are 4 rules for navigating your way forward the next time you find yourself in a landmine of conflict.
Our thoughts and words don’t always match.
Even worse, sometimes we lose control and say something impulsively or out of anger that hurts people and jeopardizes relationships. Is it worth it? Not at all. Venting might feel good at the moment but makes us feel worse in the end.
What’s the solution? Take a deep breath and wait before you speak. You’ll be glad you did. Take a moment to think about what you want in the end. Breathe. Maybe count to five or ten. Be rational. Be mindful of how your words will affect the other person.
Choose your words carefully because every word matters. Use language that builds up, heals, restores, reduces tension, and builds bridges of healing and reconciliation because that’s what you want, right?
Set Your Ego Aside
Rise above conflict by stepping back, reflecting on your actions, and being mindful that arguing further out of pettiness will not help anyone.
The ego fuels defensiveness and gets you nowhere.
Accept that everyone’s perspective matters, even if you don’t share it. Learn to find a middle ground and look for compromise. Apologize if you’ve done something wrong or hurt someone’s feelings. Acknowledge that you can see their point, even if you don’t feel the same.
Talking in Person
Talking in person is far better than going back and forth on emails or texts because it’s hard to decipher a person’s attitude and spirit in electronic messages. Misunderstandings arise easily, making things worse.
Handling issues in person humanizes the conversation and paves the way for mutual understanding. You gain a better sense of what the other person is trying to say.
Be Kind and Empathetic
Everyone has emotional baggage. And everyone has been through experiences that shape how they feel and what they believe. Knowing this makes it easier to be patient and understand everyone’s situation.
Putting yourself in their shoes and listening to understand instead of to defend or convince goes a long way in making things better. It’s a way to be there for the other person – to support them as you work to build a healthier relationship.
Keep your ego in check – don’t let it control what you do or say. Address the situation in person, put yourself in their shoes to understand where they’re coming from, and choose your words carefully to build up instead of tearing down and causing further pain.
This approach to conflict resolution will help you in your life, both personally and professionally, and moves you closer to what you really want in your most important relationships, especially your marriage, which is a healthy and abundantly happy relationship with your spouse.