How to Solve a Conflict?
Solving a conflict is never about choosing between two options. Never.
Because with whatever side you chose one part of you, or one party, if we are talking about a conflict between two people, will be loosing out. And, though, there is nothing unnatural about loosing out, that kind of conflict solving brings in a bitter aftertaste, which most of us would try to avoid at any cost. That is why most conflicts have such a long shelf-life.
So how do you go about solving a conflict?
The structure I want to propose would work for solving an inner conflict, as well as the outer one.
Whenever you have to chose between two equally important values, for many women I work with that would be the family or career, a guy they like because he provides stability and security or a guy who can promise excitement and an adventure, or if there is an open confrontation between two people, in a couple, or between a parent and a child, the process we go through by default leaves us unsatisfied and feeling deprived.
You don’t have to beat yourself up, most of us didn’t have a necessary education on conflict solving. The only thing most of us know how to do is to make a list of cons and pros and calculate when would we be loosing out the least. That is if we were solving an inner conflict.
If the conflict aspired between the two people, usually the one with a louder voice would win. Sad, in deed. Not a common sense, not even the cons and pros calculation, but just the ability to have it your own way.
Mm. Just think about your partner last time you won an argument by switching on a silent treatment, or letting out a few tears and cries. I mean, this type of victory opens doors up wide to insecurity, mistrust, quilt, and what’s not. And if you let him win, the feeling of being victimized, disempowered? I can only feel sorry for the guy, we all know he will pay for it. As you see, the cons and pros system, as well as the war of attitudes does not go well with the inner piece and satisfaction we strive for.
So there we are, most of us, trying to avoid the conflict, or solving a conflict at any cost. Many of us would build their all life around it. I am a conflicted person. I just cannot decide. I am so complicated. Or, it is complicated. The life is complicated. These are some of the things we hear ourselves say. We may even feel proud for this complexity and a hard time we are having.
All of that would have been ok, if with all of those thoughts, we had felt happy and functional. However, the easiest way to recognize someone experiencing an inner conflict, is to look at the level of energy they are living. The level of passion as I like to call it. Their passion is eaten away. In most cases there’s no passion.
I mean, think about it. Two opposites at war inside of you. All your energy is invested. Insomnia, constant therapy talk in your head, low self-esteem, quilt complex, continuous procrastination are the most visible side effects we would experience until that conflict is solved.
Un unhealthy tension, doubts, addictions of any kind, all together unsatisfactory feeling about the relationship would accompany any unsolved conflicts in a couple or between the generations. No energy to enjoy life together, intimacy or connection. This sounds plain sad, if you ask me.
So you see why would one want to strive to solve the conflicts as they occur. We all need energy to enjoy life. Passion is good for you. To unleash passion you need to have that extra, that little more than usual drive, more than ordinary oomph. So there it is, hidden and waiting for you to be enjoyed, in your unsolved conflicts.
So here are the steps to solving a conflict productively.
Well, the step you have to take is actually not a step to one of the direction you see in front of you, but is, in fact, a step forward, or upwards, as I like to describe it.
One has to grow in order to solve their conflict productively.
It works the same way for conflicted parties. It is not about who wins and who looses, but it is about evolving together for the sake of good.
‘The sake of good’ in this case can be the life you want to experience together as a couple. It can be a good mutually supportive and respectful relationship for a parent and a child. It can be a good outcome of your project, if a conflict happens between the colleagues at work. It is the same if you need to solve an argument between two friends, or the neighbors. Anybody, really.
1 Take yourself out of the equation for a moment.
What is the bottom line of your relationship? What do you want it to be at the end of the day?
Same for the inner conflict. Ask yourself, where are you going with this? What is the point?
For example, which guy to choose? Start thinking not which guy is better, but what kind of relationship would make YOU happy.
Can I just say, that from my experience, when a woman starts thinking this way, she might ditch the two existing suitors and just move on to somebody totally different. I’ve seen it happen many times.
When a women understands what makes her happy, not her mother, not her best friend, not a prince she dreamed about when she was 5, but right now, as she is a grown up woman, with her own unique values, priorities, little things that make her laugh or feel warm inside, make her feel wanted and loved, she evolves from a conflict to LIVING HER LIFE. It becomes about having the relationship, instead of thinking about it, enjoying and loving her partner, instead of dreading him and the questions he poses for her. The ways we want our relationships to be are different for everybody. No one is the same.
So the key is to examine WHO YOU ARE and choose yourself. Being yourself is the bottom line of any conflict solving.
2 Well, step two is obvious, once you know what makes YOU happy, you won’t really have a choice, you will be drawn to what is GOOD for you.
Sometimes it means giving up on living the conflict. Sometimes it means, accepting you like living a conflict. Or rather a question about yourself.
Like I mentioned earlier, when you find a cause worthy of your choice you won’'t hesitate making that extra energy to live that cause. You’ll grow. It will be easy for you.
I want you to relax for a moment. Yes, right now. Take a deep breath. What would it be like to have it easy? To have peace? To have extra energy? To be free from a conflict?
Yes. Pretty nice! Take another deep breath. Savor that feeling. Savor that involuntary smile you had experienced right now. Nice. Yes. This is you. This is what you really are. What you like. And what you are like. So I invite you to go for it.
Make a list of 50 things that make you happy. Then whenever you have a question, or a problem to solve, use that list as a guide to help you evolve from a conflict to BEING YOURSELF.
Have a peaceful day.
Leave a comment, let me know how this article had helped you to make a choice or sovle an argument. I would love to know.
Lira Kay an author of two books, a life coach and a founder of She's Got Passion and the School of Inspired Life a training center for purpose-driven professionals to find information and inspiration to stay on their mission to create a meaningful change in the world. Every Wednesday Lira answers one question she's been asked by a member of her audience around the globe. If you have a question, please, go to CONTACT and send Lira your question. She will create a post to answer it or will send you a personal answer in the email. Know, that your question will help many others to find clarity and motivation. We are all connected and your input is important. Thank you.