By Randy Moraitis, MA, BCPC
Most people hate conflict and would rather avoid conflict altogether than work towards a solution. Here is a five step plan for you to use next time you have a conflict with a friend, family member, or significant other.
1. Check Your Anger.
Be sure your anger is under control. Thomas Jefferson once said, “When angry count to ten before speaking. When very angry count to 100.” This is great advice. If you cannot share your thoughts or feelings in a safe and loving way, take some time to cool down!
2. Check The Timing.
Is this an appropriate time to deal with this conflict? Are you in public or in front of children? Find a safe and appropriate time for both parties to work towards a solution.
3. Practice Intentional Listening and Forgiveness.
Decide who will share first and who will intentionally listen first. Practice empathy and humility, and try to stay as positive as possible while sharing. Then reverse roles of listener and sharer. Thank each other for listening and ask each other how you feel about what was shared. After sharing and listening, ask for forgiveness and apologize.
4. Brainstorm Solutions.
Work together with an open mind to come up with as many solutions as possible for the conflict.
5. Choose A Solution.
Decide which solution from the brainstorming session you each are willing to try. Do your best to agree on a win-win and be open to some compromise. Clearly communicate the plan to each other. Give it a try and then give it some time. If the solution does not work out, then do another brainstorming session and choose a new solution. You can do this!
Learn this plan and you can have confidence in yourself knowing you can handle any conflict!
Special thanks to Dr. Roger Tirabassi for teaching me these techniques.
I would love to hear your input on this topic. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.