When you come across a difficult situation and you can feel yourself getting enraged, think about the following:
Conflicts can be constructive and make people think outside of their normal comfortable thoughts. Some of the best ideas and resolutions can stem from conflict. But this isn’t always the case.
But how can you make this interaction as positive as possible?
By taking the following 6 steps:
Take a moment
This feeling of anger during a conflict is a momentary thing, and it will not last. Any decision you make in this moment will not have any judgement involved and will be purely reactionary. These kinds of decisions almost always do nothing to end the conflict and instead they tend to flame it. The best action to take is to take a moment, and think about what’s happening. What are you actually angry about and will this REALLY affect you in the long run? Probably not.
Who’s been affected?
What are you trying to defend in this moment of conflict? The important thing is that you’re safe. If that’s taken care of, maybe you’re angry because your character and what you stand for has been affected. But before you get offended, think about this. If you are someone of high integrity and character, why would it matter if someone has questioned that? You are STILL that person and one person’s interpretation of that won’t change who you are. You don’t need to defend the truth and it will always prevail. Don’t waste your energy trying to prove anything because you simply don’t have to. You are you who you are based on your actions and anything you say can’t change that.
How will this affect your health?
Stress during conflict is a result of our bodies biological reaction to a situation to help us deal with it better. It prepares us for either a fight or flight reaction to what is happening. Regardless of what is happening, your body reacts to how you perceive the situation. If these situations are not being handled and they continue to happen, stress can have many adverse effects on your body. In a July 2012 article on Web MD, it states that ‘Stress can play a part in problems such as headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, and anxiety’. You have to take stress seriously, especially if it’s affecting your long-term health. When you take this into consideration, the situation causing you stress doesn’t seem that important anymore.
Were you at fault?
When we are in a conflict, we tend to not take any blame for the situation. It becomes seriously one-sided and we have to defend every action we have taken up until that moment because if we don’t, we have to concede that we may have made a mistake.
What is more likely is that if you are in a conflict, you have made a mistake along the way. A wrong action at the wrong time caused this, and now you are in a situation that you don’t want to be in. This doesn’t mean the other party is not to blame. But you have no influence on the way they think or act so all you can control is yourself. People have different motivations, beliefs, values and goals. Hold yourself accountable, put yourself in their shoes and learn from this. Be the bigger person and take steps to make sure this doesn’t happen again. Then, move on.
Create a dialogue
The best outcome in this situation is a constructive one. One in which both parties can go away feeling like it went well. This must be your aim. The best forms of conflict resolution are mediation and negotiation. Don’t be a victim but take on the role of a mediator. See the issue from both sides and find some common ground that can be discussed. There will be no discussion if there is nothing in common, so find that and work from there. Something of value will come from this instead and you won’t have any lingering anger dragging on.
Don’t bang your head against the wall
You can’t resolve every conflict. Sometimes, you have to learn to move on. Time is a great healer and when you think the time is right, return to mediate and resolve the issue.
Note: Through an intriguing story of parents struggling with their troubled children and with their own personal problems, “The Anatomy of Peace” shows how to get past the preconceived ideas and self-justifying reactions that keep us from seeing the world clearly and dealing with it effectively.