Most of us really don’t know how to be our real selves through conflict. Some will avoid it, panic at the thought of it, run from it, or pretend it doesn’t exits. Others may thrive on it, confront it, and live by winning it. Here are things that are absolutely necessary for conflict recovery and being real in relationships.
- Realize that resolving conflict is healthy and necessary for growth.
- Be curious about differences rather than demand, judge, or criticize differences.
- Ask permission of the other to respectfully address the conflict.
- When you feel reactions of anger or defensiveness, take 4 deep breaths and wait 90 seconds before responding.
- Use “I” statements rather than “you” statements.
- Increase your feeling vocabulary and know the difference between thoughts and feelings.
- Give your partner opportunity to express his or her point of view that’s different than yours.
- Respectfully repeat back what you heard the other to say to let him or her know you listened.
- Respect the dignity, worth, and well-being of the other regardless of the conflict.
- Avoid focusing on what you don’t want, and politely request what you do want or need.
For the next 10 posts, I’ll focus on the “how to” of each of the 10 ways to be real in spite of conflict.