Never wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty and the pig likes it. –George Bernard Shaw
You might have wrestled with a pig or two in conflict. There are many angles to conflict such as differences of opinions, making assumptions, unmet need problems and poor communication. Learning how to stop the wrestling match is super important. Moving towards positive interactions with others in all areas of your life is very healthy. Using this valued skill will help you have healthier relationships with everyone around you, even if you don’t always agree.
Signs you are handling conflict poorly:
- Feeling upset about an interaction or a missed opportunity
- You feel misunderstood or unappreciated
- Feeling overlooked or forgotten
- In need help from others and you aren’t receiving it
- Unable to see options and you don’t know what to do
How to wrestle with conflict if you must:
Question yourself first. Pause, ask yourself is this really a problem? Before you fly off the handle and start tackling everything coming your way. Find out if the issue is an issue. The situation may not be worth going 0 to 100. If you can curb your emotion for something more productive rather than conflict that can be very helpful.
Ask who’s fight is it anyway
Not every battle is yours to fight. Sometimes you may find yourself wanting to charge full speed ahead. Before you start getting ready to wage war consider if this is your issue or someone else’s. You don’t want to get pulled into conflict that does not belong to you. You can feel very passionate about a certain topic that does not mean it is yours to fight about. Sometimes it helps to come down off the soapbox and let the person with the actual concern address their own issue.
Wait and cool off
Another great option to consider when conflict arises is to take a break. Yes, cool your jets. Pump your breaks and give it a minute or a couple of days before you go into problem solving mood. This can decrease the likelihood of an even larger conflict.
Find a healthy distraction
You don’t have to spend all day thinking about the problem. Spend some time reflecting and find a healthy distraction. Give yourself a breather. Sometimes those moments away from the conflict can leave room for great clarity to pop into your heart and mind.
Healthy distraction options:
- Take a deep breathe
- Watch a movie
- Listen to music
- Go for a walk
- Go for a run (take water)
- Spend time with a positive friend
- Do a puzzle
Address the problem
Avoiding the problem will not make it go away. When we do nothing, nothing is resolved. Addressing the issue rather than sweeping it under the rug can feel uncomfortable, do it anyway. Taking this difficulty step forward can be the beginning of a whole new positive change. Set aside some time and talk about it with the person. Don’t let it linger.
Share with someone you trust for helpful feedback
Pick someone you trust to give honest, helpful feedback. Don’t just pick some random person or someone that is not in a healthy place to provide support. Be selective about who you share your conflict with for encouragement.
Practice resolving conflict using the tips above. Even when you are doing and being your very best sometimes conflict will arise. Do not let those experiences knock you off course. Be mindful of the positive actions that you can take. Consider all the benefits of handling the conflict in a positive matter. You gain so much more when you go high instead of getting down in the mud.
Pick 2 of the options above to use and start practicing. Inside of you is greatness!
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Flourishing Hope Counseling PLLC is a Kingsville