How to Better Manage Conflict
Welcome back to week four of our 12-week journey to discover your best self. Last week we talked into showing empathy for yourself and the importance of self-love in relationships. This week we're going to talk into conflict resolution. With every relationship, there is always going to be varying levels of conflict. It is important with any conflict that we are able to disconnect our selves from emotions, find the facts and using an active listening approach to find a resolution that suits all parties.
Here are my three top tips for conflict resolution in your relationship, you should;
1) Always begin with disassociating from your emotions, take a step back, and breathe into your belly. Doing so automatically calms down your nervous system.
2) Be conscious in choosing to respond over choosing to react.
3) Actively listen and together explore outcome possibilities together.
Dealing with conflict comes down to the way we perceive events and circumstances. Often we convince ourselves that the way we feel or see a situation is the truth. We have spoken in previous weeks how wonderfully unique each and every one of us is, and with that comes a unique perspective and set of beliefs. The rules of life are simple, we can take whatever we want as long as we don't hinder or deny anybody else’s ability to do so. The same can be said with conflict. We have endless permission to have an opinion or perspective on a matter and we are entitled to do so. However, in having our opinion, we must be sure to not take away another person permission to have theirs.
In every situation, and particularly in conflict, we have an option to either react or respond. To do so, we must evaluate who we need to be, who we need to show up for, and what values we possess. If we react, we are usually doing so from anger, from angst, or from a place where we feel this isn't the situation we imagined or would prefer. Doing so automatically puts us in fight or flight mode, which is a limbic response, and lacks logic or reason which automatically puts us in the back seat of the car and lets our emotions take the wheel. This causes us to overreact and behave in a certain way that isn't going to get us the outcome we want in a situation with conflict.
On the other hand, we have the option to respond, rather than react. Doing so puts us in the position to design and drive towards the outcome we are seeking. This gives us the space to examine what outcome we prefer, who we need to be in this particular situation and how to share our perspective with the other party. How can we agree on an outcome that is mutually acceptable and equally as desired?
When responding rather than reacting, we are doing so with a completely different set of emotions. We are approaching the situation with positivity, with an open mind, and most importantly, we are showing up with objectivity and a mutual outcome at the forefront of our mind. Doing so not only gives us a mutually beneficial outcome, it does so a lot quicker than if we were to choose to react.
Relating this to our own lives is such an important step. When we are in a position in which another party, perhaps our partner, has a different view, preference or outcome in mind we can take a step back and disassociate from the emotions. We can take slow, deep breaths into our belly and we can enter the conflict with a calm, dynamic and powerful mindset in the search for an outcome that is going to not only please both parties but make each party feel equally as valued.