Every person will have to learn how to deal with interpersonal conflicts. These conflicts can happen between friends, colleagues, family members, loved ones, or even strangers. Interpersonal conflicts are just a part of life and can be so common that they are unavoidable. Ignoring conflict also is not a very good strategy. It might keep the problem out of mind for a while but tends to boil and has the potential to become toxic and unhealthy.
Conflict resolution requires a certain degree of skill and ability that must be cultivated.
Communication is one of the most powerful tools for conflict resolution, but it’s easier to say than to do. You have to figure out what to communicate to people in conflict and how to say it. You have to figure out how to get them to communicate back to you and participate constructively. It’s not effective if the other party refuses to communicate or does so in an unhealthy way.
A person who communicates but in an unhealthy way risks making the situation even worse. For example, physical aggression, passive aggression and lack of civility are unhealthy methods people employ when they are in personal conflict with one another. This may lead to verbal or physical attacks and abuse.
Getting someone to communicate is not nearly as effective as getting them to communicate properly, in good faith.
Being aware of the emotions present in the situation is also incredibly important. Humans are not machines and being too logical and rational when emotions are high may even make the situation worse. The emotions also have to be dealt with adequately and respectfully. Addressing the conflicting feelings of the people involved can often ensure they are more willing to participate and communicate.
This requires a degree of empathy, being able to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, to see the problem from their point of view. When you know how other people feel and what is driving them emotionally, you can relate to them and open a more meaningful dialogue from which to resolve the conflict.
Join us at College of Allied Educators to learn more about your deepest emotions, and discover how you can help yourself and your loved ones overcome their fears, disappointments, and life challenges in order to build a more meaningful, and happier life.
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