All of us experience conflict in our lives. Anywhere we have relationships, conflict is a probability. Conflict is inevitable. Combat is optional. The goal is to find a resolution to conflict before it becomes combat.
We have all had conflicts we struggled to resolve. More than we will admit, we have been the cause of the conflict and the struggle to fix it. There are some elements to resolving conflict. Today I am going to talk about five of them in my 5 Thursday Thoughts. They do not all have to be present to resolve conflict, but some of them will always be present. Let’s take a look at these five and see if we can gain some insight on how we can better resolve conflict when we have it.
If we refuse to communicate with the person we conflict with, it is nearly impossible to reach a resolution. When conflict arises, we are tempted to retreat to our corner and have nothing to say. We may even refuse to talk to the other party. If we are in danger, this may be necessary. But most of life’s conflict does not involve physical danger. Usually, the only thing that hurts is our pride or our feelings. No communication will make resolution difficult. It is also a form of unforgiveness which affects you more than the other person involved.
To resolve conflict, you have to make an effort to understand where the other person is coming from. Conflict may involve right or wrong, and there may be only one answer, but there is always more than one perspective. Just because people have taken the wrong side does not mean you should not consider their view. When people feel understood, they are much more agreeable.
In some conflicts, people say hurtful things or act in ways that bring pain to other people. To move past this will require forgiveness. Forgiveness is about the offended, not the offender. Sometimes apologies are never made. That does not mean you cannot extend forgiveness. Apologies are helpful, but forgiveness is necessary.
Some resolutions take time. Some people need a little space to think things through and for emotions to calm. You do not have to overlook it forever, but patience can allow everyone to get to the place they need to be for a resolution to happen. Conflict can arise instantaneously. Resolutions can take time.
The need to be right and win are two of the greatest hindrances to conflict resolution. Sometimes peace is more valuable than being right. Sometimes we have to apologize even when the other party is the one that created the situation. Humility does not mean we have lost or have been run over. Humility doesn’t mean we think less of ourselves. It means we think of ourselves less and put others first at times.
Conflict can be stressful. Not resolving it can be damaging. Put these things into practice and resolve the conflicts in your life much quicker.