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We all do it. Don’t we? We didn’t mean to! But without thinking about it, you hurt someone else’s feelings by something you said.
Now, in the blink of an eye or slip of the tongue, you have an “issue.”
Or, as it is more commonly labeled, “a conflict.” Honestly, it always seems to happen when we least expect it.
“I don’t need this,” you say. “I’ve got so many other things on my mind.” Yes, that’s it exactly!
Listen to what you just told yourself. You weren’t thinking about what you were saying.
You were thinking about how to pay a bill or you’re worried about something else. And suddenly you say something you wish you hadn’t.
That’s me! LOL. I know just how you feel.
I want to share with you a few tips that I have discovered myself when I needed to resolve conflict in my daily life.
1. Focus on the immediate situation
Calm yourself. Think before you speak.
The moment we “fly off the handle,” we say things that hurt and damage relationships. Then it seems impossible to fix. Stop this issue from snowballing into something bigger.
2. Pivot your perspective
Try to see things from the other person’s point of view. He or she probably has just as many things to worry about as you do.
3. Consciously “lighten up”
Use a simply technique to defuse the situation.
Imagine a cheerful ray of sunshine coming through the window and lifting everyone’s spirits.
Realize that you’re going to resolve this more easily than you have done in the past. Take a breath or two. Count to ten silently, if you want. Keep your focus only on the here and now.
4. Say: “It wasn’t my intention to upset you.”
Be present and “in the moment.” Focus. Look sympathetically at the other person.
Adjust the tone of your voice to “pleasant.” And say: “ It wasn’t my intention to upset you.” By using this phrase, you are accepting the responsibility for what happened.
Don’t say you’re sorry…that can bring up other issues.
5. Don’t say too much
And don’t make excuses – You may want to say: “I was worried and distracted.” Damn it, everyone is always talking to me that way.”
That may be true. But would you want to hear someone else’s justifications?
6. Now Listen. Just listen
Be quiet and listen to what the other person has to say. We truly need to remember that listening is the key to any successful relationship in our life.
The key to listening is being fully present in the moment, and truly hearing what the other person is saying and expressing.
7. Commit to being more mindful when trying to resolve conflict
Say: “I’m going to try my best not to do this again.”
And that’s it. That’s my plan for when working to resolve conflict.
If that doesn’t work then suggest meeting with the other person later for a longer discussion. Pick a time that works for both of you.
Choose a space where you will have few interruptions or distractions. Put this meeting on your calendar and make a commitment to yourself that you won’t ‘avoid it’ by ‘conveniently’ forgetting about it.
Someone once famously asked: “Can’t we all just get along?” Well, yes and no.
No, because in life the chances are high that there will be misunderstandings and hurt feelings.
Yes, because each of us can develop our own ‘conflict resolution plan.’
I sincerely hope this works for you. I’m always looking for ways to live a more meaningful, joyful existence while at the same time interacting with others.