Dealing With Conflict
We all face situations that involve conflict at some point and dealing with conflict takes effort and practice. Conflict can happen at work, school, with family and friends, or even within ourselves. Often, when these situations happen, it is common to feel stressed and unsure of what to do next. At Centered Recovery Programs in Roswell, we learn how to deal with conflict and make positive changes toward conflict resolution. Since dealing with conflict is a skill that can be learned and improved, let’s look at some strategies to help manage conflict in a healthy, constructive way.
What Causes Conflict?
Disagreements that lead to conflict can be big or small, which means It is important to recognize that when conflict occurs. Typically, each person involved has a different perception of the situation. Many emotions can stir up when conflict happens and understanding the root causes of the conflict is the first step toward resolving conflict. Common causes of conflict include basic miscommunications, or larger issues such as values, beliefs, or relationships.
Steps Toward Conflict Resolution
Recognize and Admit the Conflict:
- Admit that there is a conflict happening.
- Avoid pretending that conflict is not there.
- By recognizing a conflict, the people involved can address it head-on and work toward a solution.
- Be clear and honest in communicating your perspective.
- Create a safe and open environment that allows everyone involved to share their thoughts.
- Listen carefully to each other and show empathy.
Understand Each Other’s Perspective:
- Typically, conflict occurs when there are misunderstandings of someone else’s views or opinions.
- Take time to listen and understand the person’s perspective.
- Ask questions for clarification if you are confused.
- Try to place yourself in their shoes and see things from their view.
Find Common Interests:
- Look for areas that both parties agree on.
- Focus on shared goals and interests to find solutions that make everyone happy.
- Working with each other instead of against each other to create a resolution that works for everyone.
Separate the Conflict from the Person:
- Focus on the issue at hand.
- Avoid attacking or blaming the other person.
- Keep the problem as the goal in mind to solve, rather than trying to fix the other person’s views.
Think of New Solutions:
- Come up with a variety of solutions to solve the conflict.
- The more options available, the more likely that common ground can be reached.
- Be open to compromise and creative thinking.
- Getting overly emotional can make the conflict worse.
- Understanding why we are emotional about the situation can provide insight into solutions.
- Managing emotions and responding to others’ emotions in a respectful manner matters.
Take a Break and Revisit:
- Sometimes, it can be too difficult to have a productive conversation if emotions are high,
- If needed, take a break, cool down, and come back when everyone is calmer.
- Taking breaks can allow for time to think more rationally and approach conflict with a fresh mind.
Using Conflict to Reflect and Grow
Dealing with conflict can be an opportunity for personal growth and improvement. Take the time to think about your conflict and what you can learn from it moving forward. Using your experience can lead to becoming a more effective communicator and problem-solver. Often, conflicts are bound to happen, but they do not have to be bad. Dealing with conflict requires patience, empathy, communication, and willingness to find a beneficial solution for everyone.
Asking for Help
Conflicts can be difficult to handle on your own, especially if you have not practiced skills to help reach conflict resolution. Whether you are struggling to find a solution about substance use or mental health, or having trouble talking to a loved one, we are here to help. Centered Recovery Programs in Roswell offers support and assistance in dealing with conflict. We are here to support you through your conflicts. Call 800.556.2966 for more information on our program!
Written by Jennifer Lopes, BS Psy