5 Tips To Resolve Conflict In A Healthy Way
I have often said, “I don’t do drama, but I will do healthy conflict.”
“What does that mean?” asked a friend of mine recently.
How can conflict be healthy?
I responded that “it is not the conflict itself that is healthy, but rather the way I respond to it.”
Further explanation regarding the difference between healthy conflict and drama was explored. Drama is about drama. It is about attention seeking patterns of behavior. Every event in life becomes epic when one is focused on drama. Blowing things out of proportion while the focus is on the actions created by drama. Drama produces more drama. It is unsettling. Filled with angst and a lack of contentment.
Healthy conflict is the exact opposite of drama. It does not seek to prove another wrong or to stir the pot. It is not violent. It is not about pushing one’s views on to another. It is not a time for ideologies or finger pointing. We have all been presented with opportunities to engage in healthy conflict. Healthy conflict can take place at work, in relationships, in families and even within our own minds. If we allow ourselves to engage in healthy conflict when it appears, there are some things to keep in mind.
Respect comes first. Not only for the other person, but more importantly for ourselves. If we value ourselves then we will respect our own identity. If we can believe in who we are, in a deeply contented way, then healthy conflict can occur. Without respect, conflict will turn into drama. We inevitably will run from drama created out of a lack of respect.
When we have been done wrong, we vow to never forgive or forget. We hold on to the crimes of the other person. We must be able to forgive and to ask for forgiveness, even if the other person does not deserve it. You deserve it. You deserve the peace that comes from forgiving another person. Only then can healing take place. Healthy conflict must start with forgiveness so conversations can happen and better understanding of each other can take place.
3) Identify Fear
Realize that fear exists when conflict appears. It exists on both sides. Emotions are involved along with a deep desire to be heard and understood. Listen to your inner voice. Listen when the other person speaks. Acknowledge any hurt or misunderstanding. Remain open and non-belligerent.
4) Emotional Intelligence
Being in touch with our own emotions, having empathy for others, managing our conflict while remaining free from anger, vengeance and resentment is the basis of emotional intelligence. The key to healthy conflict resolution.
5) Agree to Disagree
At times this is the final resting place of healthy conflict. I respect you. You respect me. We agree with the perception of injustice on both sides. We just agree to disagree.
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