Managing Conflict

KDKA Radio 

How we relate to others and the ways that it effects our happiness are powerful parts of our lives. People can be highly conducive to our happiness, neutral or conflictual. The healthy ones are the ones we hold close in our lives, the neutral ones may be the ones we hardly notice, but the ones that create conflict are ones we work with to find a good balance.

At work:
Let’s say that there is a friend or colleague who makes you responsible for their happiness. They may project to you that your behavior is responsible for their mood or their well-being. If you consciously examine your behavior and decide that it is not abusive or negative and come to realize that they are simply trying to control you, how much responsibility do you really have for their reaction? If you are in a position of management or mentoring, you have a great deal of responsibility.

It may be that you can redirect the person in such a way that they take responsibility for themselves. When they send you the message that you should change your behavior, return the responsibility for their reaction to them, with a statement such as, “You seem upset because I did not return your call immediately.” Let them know that it is their reaction, not your behavior that is creating stress for them. Remember, Stress is the wear and tear on your mind and body based on your perception of events.

How does this work in personal relationships with a partner or spouse? Managing conflict and understanding the opposite sex can help you to take responsibility for your happiness and theirs to the degree that it is healthy.

At Home:
When time is limited, whether you have one minute to spend together today or one hour, make the time count. Really look at one another and listen fully to what the other person is saying. Don’t shout over your shoulder as you run out the door, or do something else at the same time, such as read the paper or watch TV. Really be with your partner for the brief the time that you have.

Keep the focus on the positive things in the relationship. When there is 85 % positive communication, the relationship can truly thrive. That does not mean to avoid conflict, but keep the conflict healthy. Stay in the moment and do not bring up past mistakes or accuse the other person of “always” or “never” doing something. React in the here and now.

Say what you mean and be impeccable about your word. Much of our communication breaks down because one partner shuts down and does not say what they think or feel, or because anger gets in the way. Once anger enters the picture, the words can include blame, criticism, sarcasm, or shouting, none of which create resolution. The truth, respectfully and simply stated usually allows your partner to stay open to the conversation and hear you.

Give your word. Keep your word. Experience Real Conscious Living.

Nancy Mramor, Ph.D. is Media and Health Psychologist, Award-Winning Author, and International Professional Speaker


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