“Be reasonable, do it my way,” was an expression my mother sometimes used in jest when she had what she thought was the best solution for a problem, and was
unable to convince the other person she was right. Of course, while that statement alone didn’t often get Mom what she wanted , wouldn’t your life be great if all your conflicts could be resolved simply by insisting on having your way?
You can have that easier life and resolve your conflicts if, in aiming for resolution, you follow three simple rules.
By ‘resolve’ your conflicts, I don’t mean: ‘win by proving you’re right and the other person is wrong’ or ‘getting your own way.’ I do mean you resolve your conflict when the two of you find a new, third option that answers the problem at hand.
If you’ve been conditioned to expect a conflict to be demoralizing, humiliating, or even perilous and scary, and to end badly, it can be unbelievably hard to engage in resolving a personal conflict. It seems so much easier to run away, if not physically, then at least mentally, by ignoring the problem or by simply giving in.
It’s not easier in the long run because when you choose to not address a situation, you give up a part of yourself.
Here are three simple steps to follow to address your conflicts successfully.
- Begin with stating that you are willing to find a solution that works for both of you.
- Listen carefully to what the other person says — to hear what they say and to understand what their words mean.
- Listen carefully to your own words and how they sound to the other person.
While you won’t get your way completely when you adopt these three steps, you’re nearly guaranteed to get more of what you need than if you hadn’t tried. (And if you do not, you have learned a valuable lesson about the other person.)
Plus, without doubt you are guaranteed to realize three additional benefits.
- One, you build trust and strengthen your relationship with the other person.
- Two, you feel better about yourself because you’ve taken a stand for yourself.
- Three, you become a stronger person. Every time you maintain your self-respect, it becomes a bit easier to do it again.
Conflicts never get better on their own. If you want to have a strong and health relationship with others and with yourself, you must confront conflicts with the sole goal of finding a workable solution.
Life Is Honest, Open and True: The next time you face a personal conflict at home or at work, take a stand to find a solution that is agreeable to both of you.
Is your time and attention monopolized by a personal conflict? Tell me about it in the comments or tweet me @lifeishotblog with the hash tag #LifeIsHOT!