How do you react to conflict?
When you are presented with a conflicting situation, what is your first response?
Say someone is picking an argument with you, they’re raising their voice or accusing you of something that you don’t think is fair – how would you react?
- Naturally react defensively and rebel against them? (like Purple Dots)
- React critically without fully listening? (like Yellow Dots)
- Simply close down and ignore them? (Like Red Dots)
- Either retreat physically (walk away) or feel extremely uncomfortable and try to avoid the situation completely? (like Blue Dots)
Or what happens if you know you’re about to create a possible conflicting situation with someone else – say they lied to you, or you have a different view on something that you know they will disagree with – how do you approach it?
And that there are some really simple ways you can manage to reduce the conflict in your life in order to help things run more smoothly?
I know that people say that conflict is inevitable, but I must argue if that has to be true?
How great would life be if we could drastically reduce the amount of conflicting situations we are faced with every day by just changing our approach slightly?
I can tell you we can – and I’m living proof of that.
I must admit I’m the kind of person who absolutely dreads being faced with a conflicting situation, it can stress me out for days on end. In the past I would either avoid the situation completely (if I could get away with it), or I’d attempt to face it head on and usually end up making things a whole lot worse.
But after a while I started to question the idea of whether life really had to be this way, or if there was something I could do to change it…
So I started to research how others had battled similar situations and what I learnt was both ridiculously simple yet extremely effective if you actually give it a chance.
I’ve summarised it for you into 3 simple ways to reduce the conflict in your life
1. Your reaction is a choice
Conflict cannot continue without your participation. It may not feel like it at the time, but it’s important to know that you have a choice on how you choose to react in any given situation – good or bad. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever been given was – life is 10% what happens to us, 90% how we react to it. So next time you find yourself feeling like you’re getting frustrated or caught up in a conflicting situation – just remember that you can choose whether or not you want to react at their level – or rise above it.
2. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’
Now this can be a hard one to swallow… It took me a while to come to terms with this, but at the end of the day – it’s true. There really is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, there is merely our interpretation – our view on the world. If you think about it – rules, laws, beliefs, values – they are all our interpretations of how we think things should be. Some of them make complete sense to us, others not so much. Without getting too deep into this subject, all I can say is that every time you make someone else ‘wrong’, you’re going to spark a desire in them to prove themselves right. This is where conflict occurs. Whether you feel they are ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ shouldn’t be your driver. Just remember that it is only your interpretation and that in order to reduce the conflict in your life, you must not look at situations or people as one or the other, but rather that they simply have a differing opinion or interpretation to you.
3. Replace expectation with appreciation
In the words of the amazing Tony Robbins, “Turn your expectations into appreciation and your whole life will change.” The problem with expectations is that they’re just like an opinion — everyone has one — and they don’t always match up to the other person’s thoughts. This is where conflict starts. When you focus on what’s wrong with someone, or your differences in expectations, rather than appreciating the great things they do, then conflict is always inevitable.
If you can make a conscious effort to focus on appreciation rather than your expectations – if you choose to feel grateful for what you have, rather than frustrated about what you don’t, then I guarantee you the conflict in your life will start to disappear.
Now it’s important to note that these ways to reduce conflict aren’t about avoiding situations or not having your say… it’s about slightly adjusting your approach in order to turn a challenging situation into a successful one.
Avoiding conflict doesn’t work if you’re just burying how you really feel because you don’t want to have an awkward or potentially damaging conversation.
“If you avoid conflict to keep the peace you start a war inside yourself.” – Cheryl Richardson.
Rather than avoid conflict, let’s look at ways to reduce it and replace it with more ideal situations.
So start with these simple ways to reduce the conflict in your life, practice them every day and let me know how you go as I always love to hear how things are going in your world.
And if you’d like to know more about how to reduce the stress and conflict in your life through your communication style, get in touch with us here.