Conflict is a normal part of all healthy relationships. This is because two people can’t be expected to agree on everything at all times. Learning to deal with conflict rather than avoiding it is very important.
Conflict usually arises from differences between values, perceptions, ideas, motivations or desires. Everybody has a need to feel understood, nurtured and supported and conflict arises when these needs are not met.
When conflict is not managed effectively, it can cause great harm to any relationship, but when it is handled in a respectful, positive way, conflict can provide an opportunity to strengthen the bond between two people.
Below are some tips you can practice and use the next time conflict arises in your relationships. These can be at home with your parents, or at school with teachers and friends or at work with your colleagues.
– Manage stress quickly while remaining calm: By staying calm you can read other peoples verbal and non verbal communication.
– Control your emotions and behaviour: When you are in control of your emotions, you can communicate your needs without threatening or frightening others.
– Be aware and respectful of differences: Sometimes it is better to accept that people are not always going to agree with you on everything. By avoiding blame and disrespectful words or actions, the conflict can be resolved faster.
– Focus on the present and the issue at hand: rather than holding onto grudges from the past, focus on what you can do in the here-and –now to solve the problem.
– Be willing to forgive: Renee’s blog below (Forgiveness) talks about the benefits of being able to forgive others. This is good for both your mental and emotional health.
Let’s face it, conflict makes people uncomfortable and sometimes avoiding it may seem like the right thing to do.
So rather than avoiding conflict and eventually losing good relationships, lets try and use conflict as an opportunity for growth. There is nothing better than knowing that your relationship (whether personal or professional) can survive challenges and disagreements.
So I put it out to you now, is there such thing as a healthy conflict?