conflict perspective

Conflict is inevitable,

but combat is optional.

Max Lucado

Life often hands us misunderstandings and conflicts with other people. Not everyone will agree with what everything you do or say. Sometimes we are caught off-guard when we suddenly realize that there is some underlying conflict, especially when we thought that the lines of communication were still functioning well.

No matter the initial cause, or where you might like to assign the bulk of the blame, a troubling conflict will take time to untangle and can be disruptive to your life. You lose your balance and often operate on half-power, with the other half working overtime to figure out where to assign blame, and as is human nature, searching for ways to justify your own actions. If the incident is disturbing enough you begin to lose focus both at work and at home. You may have difficulty making even the most routine of decisions. Or you may find that you are spending sleepless nights rehashing and mulling over the best way to handle it. It is hard to do anything wholeheartedly until it is resolved one way or another.

Conflict can be hard on the body, the mind and the spirit, But there are a few strategies that you can use to help you keep the proper perspective and then hopefully move the conflict toward a positive resolution.

Breathe and seek balance

A conflict can make you feel unbalanced because of strong emotions, and may be accompanied by feelings of unworthiness, anger, sadness, or frustration. Don’t try to side step these emotions, but rather use them as guides. Appreciate and observe them as you might a play. There is a lot of power in your emotional energy, and as you breathe and watch it all unfold, you will find a way to use what you are experiencing in a way that is aligned with your best purpose.

Look at the long view

It is so darned easy to get caught in the turmoil of conflict that people seem to forget that there will be a tomorrow. Take some quiet moments to close your eyes and see yourself in the future with this current conflict resolved. Imagine how you will feel with the problem behind you. What would you like this relationship to look like a month from now? A year? Is this relationship important to you?

In the meantime, eat well, go to bed at your regular time, laugh and allow yourself to forget the problem occasionally. This may not be easy, depending on the nature of the conflict, but it is effective. Allow your inner wisdom to work in silence while you continue to engage in the normal activities of your everyday life.

Re-frame

Try to step outside of the conflict for a moment. Instead of resisting all of it, ask yourself if there is a gift or a lesson to be found here. Is this an invitation for you to look at a problem or issue differently? Is this an opportunity to try out a new behavior?

As much as you are able, always acknowledge the other person by stepping into their shoes. Why are they behaving in this manner? What do they really want? How would you feel if you were placed in their position?

Practice

Spend some time brainstorming all of your possible responses to this situation and try each of them on for size. If necessary, get a friend and role-play some alternatives that you think you would never choose because they are so unlike your usual persona. Have fun exercising your unexplored selves.

Count every blessing

Notice all of the good things in your life. Cultivate gratitude and your sense of wonder.

Conflict can cause you to lose sight of the bigger picture. You become so focused on the blame and the battle that you can forget what you truly want in life, why you are here, and what is really important.

Thomas Crum phrases it this way… ”our quality of life depends not on what happens to us, but on what we do with what happens to us.”

Learning to manage yourself and working to improve your conflict resolution skills will help you regain your power.

Thoughts?

Photo Credit: Zoriah via Compfight cc