How to resolve conflict

Is your day spent in complete chaos and are you up to your elbows in, well, work? You plug away doing your job while being forced into acting like a complete nincompoop giving in to ridiculous demands when all you really want to say is, “are you kidding me, in your dreams,” or “no freaking way.” Daydreaming of how incredibly awesome it would be to spew these derogatory remarks all over one person to the next. Okay, not really. Hopefully your mother raised you better than that and if not, maybe yoga/meditation class to find your happy place?

Honestly, loss of empathy for others can make for a miserable life. If you lose the ability to connect with others, you lose the ability to deal with the inconsistencies that inevitably occur. Maintaining composure and recovering quickly after a conflict can benefit not only your state of mind, it can benefit your health.

Resolving conflict is a skill that most people fail to learn. Most of us use past experiences and use the fight or flight approach in the heat of battle. However, once you gain theses skill sets you will use them as a constructive tool, vastly improving your relationships not only at work but your personal life as well.

At first a person may have to revert to a childlike state and use the greatest gift given to humanity; the gift of pretend. That’s right, pretend you are happy. Sounds too simple does it not? Putting a smile on that face of yours has been proven to improve your mood and wellbeing. After you master the art of pretend, the real work begins.

Life is full of conflict, but we do have choices:

1)      Own our reactions, or throw a temper tantrum.

2)      State your emotions, or leave them guessing why you’re upset.

3)      Take accountability for your feelings, or play the blame game.

Rules of engagement:

1)      One person speaks at a time, and speak only for yourself. (I feel, I think, I believe)

2)      Avoid implying you know how others feel. (You feel, You think, You believe)

3)      Communicate what is really bothering you.

4)      When interactions are no longer productive, take a break.

As you are trying to sort out your differences with someone, it’s important to remember that you must confirm what you think heard before reacting and be accountable for your own actions. Also, take a moment to notice how you are about to react. Just a few seconds will grant you the self-control to put off judgments that you would not normally make.

Of course there’s always that split second when the little devil on your shoulder gets the best of you and before you know it, your auto reacting. It’s often not a good thing to auto react as it usually escalates the conflict.

Even if you are the greatest people person of all time, there are those days that will send you over the proverbial edge and you will use that potty mouth of yours. And it’s okay that you did so, apologize and move on. Just don’t make a habit out of it.


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