Every relationship experiences conflict at some point. It doesn’t matter if it’s a personal or a professional relationship, but there will be conflict because not all people will agree on everything.
The best way to handle conflict is to resolve the matter healthily. Many times, conflict is not handled efficiently and instead causes more problems in a relationship instead of fixing issues.
The result is a broken bond and a failed relationship. If the conflict were to be handled correctly, respect is earned on both sides, and the bond between people can even be strengthened.
The Cause of Conflict
The simple truth behind the cause of conflict is a disagreement of some sort. Some disagreements are over small things while others are over big things.
Some of the biggest causes of conflict include trigger issues like the political state of the country, personal beliefs, religious values, and intrinsic motivation.
Other causes of conflict can look small to the outsider looking in, but something important to remember is that the cause of conflict is often due to a deeper need that is not being met, to begin with.
Personal needs have to be understood, acknowledged, and met for an individual to feel secure and respected. Once these needs are met, you’re on the path to conflict resolution.
Understanding Different Needs
If you approach two different people, it is likely that they will not share the same favorite color. Personal needs work the same way. You can’t expect everyone to react the same way because people are different.
Have you ever read the book about the five love languages? If you haven’t, you should at least Google them to learn what they are.
Generally speaking, the love languages pertain to resolving conflict between intimate relationships such as those between spouses or other romantic partners.
While the book discusses different needs between romantic partners, those same needs exist in all relationships, although they exist to different degrees.
At their core, people need to feel supported and understood. Learning and recognizing how to communicate with them in a way they understand goes a long way to achieving resolution.
Ideally, both sides of the conflict must understand each needs to be objective when faced with a conflict. Easier said than done, right?
People respond to a conflict based purely on their own perceptions of what is going on. Often, they do not face the conflict from an objective point of view to review the facts of the situation. Instead, people tend to let perception be influenced by personal experiences and beliefs.
It’s easy to get lost in the emotions that a conflict tends to bring on. You need to be comfortable in dealing with your personal emotions as part of your conflict resolution skills. If you can’t handle your own triggers, it will be difficult to move yourself out of a conflict.
To be able to accurately assess the situation, you almost have to turn off your personal feelings and look at the situation from the most objective standpoint. Once you can look at the situation for what it is, you can zone in on what can possibly be approached differently on either side.
Healthy vs. Unhealthy Conflict Response
It’s normal to feel threatened when faced with conflict because your security is being questioned. At the same time, it’s important to recognize an unhealthy standpoint for what it is and look for healthy ways to achieve conflict resolution.
If you are refusing to recognize or respond to what matters to the opposing side, the lack of empathy is an unhealthy approach. Instead, it is better to empathize with your opponent and try to understand where he or she is coming from.
Much like exploding tempers tend to fan a flame, the opposite and much healthier side will extinguish a burning fire. The appropriate response would instead be to remain calm and respectful instead of being mean and hurtful when faced with conflict.
Isolation or shaming also don’t do much to resolve conflict. Forgiveness and moving past the conflict sans resentment will achieve resolution much quicker. Remember the saying that states you can attract more flies with honey than you will with vinegar? This is much along the same line.
Honestly, facing a conflict head-on is going to be the best way to allow for resolution. If you don’t handle the conflict, you’re going to end up with nothing but rifts and resentments.
Your conflict resolution skills will lie in a couple of different places. You’ll need to be able to calm yourself quickly when faced with conflict. This is difficult as most people tend to get worked up.
Secondly, you’ll want to become emotionally aware of yourself and those around you. That means handling emotional reactions constructively during conflict and remaining as objective as possible.
Developing conflict resolution skills is not easy, but with practice, you can learn to resolve conflict in an appropriate way.