The Need For Conflict Resolution Techniques
In life, our progress will meet resistance and conflict. Therefore, we need conflict resolution techniques. This may seem like a given. But, we often act dismayed when we encounter that resistance. On an unconscious level, we expect things to naturally go our way. If we didn’t believe that, we wouldn’t feel surprised when resistance strikes.
Sometimes this resistance manifests as a circumstance. Perhaps we have a flat tire. Someone cuts the line in front of us. Something mechanical breaks down or malfunctions. We cannot choose for these things not to happen. But we can choose how we respond to them.
In this article, you will learn:
- What is conflict?
- What is conflict resolution?
- What are examples of conflict resolution techniques?
- Why are conflict resolution techniques important?
- How can I learn more about conflict resolution techniques?
What Is Conflict?
Earlier, we mentioned that life often presents us with resistance. Resistance simply refers to anything that prevents our immediate progress. And often, that resistance arises within our relationships. It might come from a relative, close friend, or a total stranger. We call this kind of interpersonal resistance conflict.
If you have an idea, someone will disagree with you. Make a claim and someone will show up to dispute you. You ought to see this as inevitable. No matter what we think, feel, or do, we shall encounter conflict.
We will definitely experience conflict on the road to recovery. We might conflict with our therapist or treatment provider. They might suggest a treatment method that troubles us. We might also conflict with our family members over our new identities and decisions.
So, what can we do about conflict?
What Is Conflict Resolution?
Instinctively, we know that avoiding conflict altogether serves as the best conflict resolution technique. But that doesn’t usually happen. Many times in life, we cannot avoid conflict. Furthermore, we should not necessarily regard conflict as “bad.” It might make us uncomfortable. It may require growth. But that doesn’t automatically turn it into something “bad.”
To resolve conflict means to bring it to a practical, helpful end. To do that, we must first expect and accept conflict. Unless you live as a solitary hermit, you will deal with other people. If you deal with people, you will encounter conflict. Receive that knowledge with an open mind. Doing so will place you in an advantageous position.
Examples Of Conflict Resolution Techniques
Once we accept conflict as an inevitability, we can begin to prepare for it. We move from a position of avoidance and denial into one of proactivity. Denial strengthens conflict. On the other hand, acceptance strengthens us. Find examples of specific conflict resolution techniques below.
When conflict shows up, assume that responsibility lies with you. Put aside ideas of fault and blame. Those principles might help us in a court of law. But in recovery, they tend to hinder us. We must not equate fault and responsibility.
When you find yourself conflicting with someone, hold only yourself accountable to resolve it. Assume errors exist in your own judgment rather than the other party’s judgment. Look for blind spots in your own opinions and perspectives.
Think of yourself as having a limited perspective on the current conflict. You do not possess all knowledge of all data, all thoughts, or all information. If you take such a posture, you set yourself up as a learner. You’ll willingly receive new information about the conflict. Then, your conflict becomes cooperative.
Work With, Not Against
When conflict comes, don’t take sides. Instead, think of yourself and the other person as a team. In reality, it may not appear this way. You may deal with very difficult people. Some of them may act belligerent or present you only with hostility. Unless they resort to violence, a chance to cooperate always exists.
Work with the other party, not against them. Pay attention to the script in your mind. Listen to what it tells you about the other person. What kinds of words does your mind use? Does it speak of them as an enemy? Does your inner voice use “us vs. them” terminology? Become mindful of your thoughts and attitudes about the other person.
If your inner voice does speak like this, work to change it. Instead of heeding every thought that comes your way, conjure up different thoughts. This will likely take practice. Mindfulness helps us to think critically of our own thoughts. Then, we can develop new thought habits and patterns.
Seek To Understand, Not To Win
In a conflict, we must learn to doubt what we think we know. As covered previously, we do not possess any and all facts. Once we take a posture of receptivity, we can genuinely listen to the other person. In lieu of assuming we have answers, we must ask questions.
We have to seek to understand, not to win. We must genuinely try and get into the other person’s mind. To view the situation as they would view it. We don’t have to agree with them. We have no obligation to endorse what they think. But at the very least, we must try to glean wisdom from their point of view.
Ask the other person open-ended questions. That is, ask questions that don’t have easy, single-word answers. Some examples include:
- Why do you think that?
- How does this affect you?
- What do you think we should do about it?
How Can I Learn More About Conflict Resolution Techniques?
We’ve examined the nature of conflict. We’ve considered how conflict resists our efforts. Then, we learned a little about specific conflict resolution techniques. Reading about these techniques might seem simple. Implementing and practicing them proves another matter.
Southeast Addiction Treatment Center integrates conflict resolution into our many treatment options. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve dealt with conflict at work, home, or school. SEA’s compassionate staff can assist with whatever you need.
Still have questions? Don’t wait any longer. Contact Southeast Addiction Treatment Center now to learn more.