Conflict - What do we do?
When you deal with people, whether it be a boss, a coworker, a partner, a mate, or anyone you come in contact with the likelihood of conflict arising is great. It is normal to have conflict at times when you are working with others or having any kind of relationship with another person. Don't run from conflict - deal with it.
Conflict is inevitable and normal in all relationships. It is how you deal with it that matters. There are positive approaches when dealing with conflict.
Anger is a big part of conflict. It is a normal and human response. When a person feels threatened, frustrated, or attached, the body automatically triggers a defensive reaction which shows up as anger. When we are angry we tend to do one of two things;
1. we suppress our anger by avoiding conflict and pretending that everything is ok. This builds resentment and is never good for relationships. or
2. we vent or clear the air and say whatever comes to mind by attacking and blaming the other person. This results in hostility and hurtful things are said or done which can leave scars.
You can unlearn these old ways of dealing with anger and commit to handling your anger with the following steps:
a. Stop attacking. Attacks encourage counter-attacks and that leads to more problems. Agree not to blame or attack the other person.
b. Acknowledge your anger. It is a normal emotion and should not be ignored. Use "I feel" statements. See our article on "Express and Own your Feelings and Using the NAME Statement.
c. Look at what is behind the anger. Feelings labeled as anger are often deeper feelings like hurt, feeling taken for granted, used, or just stressed out. When you get angry ask yourself "What else was I feeling? Am I tired, hungry, frustrated, overwhelmed, insecure, hurt, feeling used or ignored? This looking beyond the anger has to happen when things have calmed down a bit and you have had some thinking time. The key is to look below the surface and really own the truth about what was really going on in your mind. Anger is a disguise of other feelings and usually they are feelings of hurt or insecurity.
Are your conflicts over money? Check out our Love and Money articles.
Also check out our article on Teammates
Recommended reading: Difficult Conversations by Douglas Stone