How to Manage Conflict and Promote Harmony

Methods to Handle Battle and Promote Concord


Co-authored by Isaac and Ora Prilleltensky

Intimate and distant, harmonious and conflictive, empathic and aggressive, constructive and harmful. Most relationships undergo these polar moments occasionally. What can we do to nurture optimistic and handle detrimental experiences?

As we witness battle in households, work, and society, we paused to mirror on how we, who’ve been collectively for over forty years, managed our personal marital and occupational conflicts. Fairly rapidly, we realized that the method of constructing the optimistic and managing the detrimental is totally essential.

Stopping Battle and Selling Concord

Battle is inevitable, however there are issues we will do to reduce its frequency and influence. The extensive spectrum of actions we will take to forestall battle fall into two important classes: making the opposite individual really feel valued and sharing with them how they add worth. Briefly, we have to inform them that they matter.

There are various methods to make different folks really feel like they matter. These embrace:

  • Commenting on their efforts to make household or work higher
  • Recognizing contributions to a venture
  • Expressing appreciation by non-verbal means, equivalent to a hug, holding palms, or a pat on the again, relying on the closeness of the bond
  • Listening non-judgmentally
  • Exhibiting curiosity within the individual’s work, passions, struggles
  • Spending time with them
  • Expressing gratitude
  • Celebrating their accomplishments
  • Remembering their birthdays
  • Giving particular suggestions about how they enrich your life or the lifetime of the neighborhood
  • Noticing virtuous habits
  • Serving to them obtain their objectives
  • Supporting their goals
  • Exhibiting empathy once they wrestle
  • Stability your agenda with theirs
  • Noticing what is exclusive and particular about them

These are a number of the many deliberate efforts we will take to make our spouses, kids, colleagues, and neighbors really feel valued and assist them add worth. We must always by no means assume that “love conquers all” and due to this fact we don’t want to have interaction in these behaviors. You could assume that saying “I really like you” is sufficient, however it’s not. Particulars matter. Be particular and do that typically. Mirror, reply, repeat.

The extra we domesticate the optimistic in {our relationships}, the upper the probabilities that battle might be extra rare and simpler to deal with. It is because the extra we make investments caring capital within the relationship, the extra we will draw on it in instances of misery. If the caring account is empty, there may be nothing to buffer animosity.

Managing Battle

No matter how a lot caring capital you might have gathered, there might be instances when battle will emerge. When that occurs, many individuals commit predictable errors:

  • They repeat why they’re proper, and the opposite individual is incorrect
  • They level out many faults within the different social gathering
  • They put one another down
  • They carry up grime and unfinished enterprise from the previous
  • They conduct character assassination
  • They blame the opposite social gathering for every thing however the kitchen sink
  • They withdraw and sulk
  • They present contempt for the opposite individual
  • They stonewall

These methods fail as a result of they exacerbate the battle. They add gas to the hearth. These failed makes an attempt fully ignore the method. When tempers are flaring, the very best factor to do is to decrease the temperature. This can be completed by a number of the following actions:

Nikola Johnny Mirkovic/Unsplash

Supply: Nikola Johnny Mirkovic/Unsplash

  • Proudly owning up: Upon reflection, it’s possible you’ll want to say that you’re sorry that you just have been inattentive, insensitive, or offensive to the opposite individual.
  • Acknowledging ache: Regardless that you’re in the midst of a heated argument, it helps to acknowledge that you just and the opposite individual are hurting proper now, and that you’re sorry that that is occurring.
  • Expressing grievance in constructive methods: Repressing grievances is a recipe for future volcanic eruptions, however so is uninhibited anger. You could be very upset on the different individual for partaking in repeated offensive or annoying behaviors. You’ll have a really legitimate grievance however canceling the opposite individual and portray them as evil will solely make a foul state of affairs worse. It’s best to “edit” your anger and attempt to categorical it in non-totalizing methods. Attempt to be particular and use “I statements.” Chorus from statements equivalent to “you all the time X, and also you by no means Y.” As a substitute, strive saying: “When X occurs, I really feel Y, and I want that Z.”

  • Acknowledging their dignity: We all know it’s troublesome to recollect the optimistic attributes of the opposite individual while you’re in the midst of a struggle, however doing so will present humanity and respect for the dignity of the opposite social gathering.

The objective of those methods is to maintain the method of battle decision alive. To have the ability to pay attention to one another’s grievances, we’ve to have the ability to regulate our emotional responses and monitor our habits whereas in battle. Though this can be a talent that’s exhausting to amass, it’s value rehearsing. Attempt to anticipate the way you would possibly react to an argument and picture your self urgent the “pause” button and reducing the quantity. Mirror, rehearse, repeat.

Bear in mind, a superb course of is an efficient consequence. This isn’t an oxymoron. course of upholds the dignity of each events within the battle, and that may be a nice consequence. As soon as our dignity is restored, we’re higher in a position to interact in constructive motion. We must always all the time make others really feel valued and assist them add worth, even within the midst of conflicts.

In fact, there are conflicts which might be warranted. When elementary values are violated, or when one social gathering consciously diminishes the opposite, there may be room for confrontation. However typically folks confuse their allies for his or her enemies and interact in battle when battle decision known as for. This can be a grave error, for as an alternative of forging coalitions with potential companions, the misguided social gathering engages in ruinous and divisive demeanor. To them, we are saying: Mirror, recalculate, repeat.

Study extra in How Folks Matter: Why It Impacts Well being, Happiness, Love, Work, and Society (Cambridge College Press, 2021).


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *