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Resolving Conflict

When conflict occurs, one of two things can happen:   

1) You can continue the bad feelings, and think of ways to cause harm to the person with whom you are in conflict, or 2) You can find a way to resolve the conflict.

The first plan will do several things:  The conflict will grow larger; you may lose sleep, or begin to alienate other people.  The conflict could go on for years morphing into deep feelings of anger, resentment, bitterness and pain.   You may begin to experience health problems such as high blood pressure, or heart disease.

By resolving the conflict, in your own heart and mind you will have inner peace, and gain the respect of those around you.   This second option takes courage and integrity. 

An excellent model for conflict resolution is as follows:

1) Go privately to the person with whom you are in conflict.  Talk calmly with them about the issue that is causing concern.  Stick to the facts; no accusations. Let them know you would like to resolve the matter. 

Be willing to listen to their side.  If they listen to you, you have won them over.   Use “I” language by saying I feel (state the feeling) when you (state the circumstances.)

Take responsibility for your part in the conflict.  Address the situation from a “solution” standpoint rather than a making accusations or finding fault. Think of solutions or compromises that would be satisfactory to both parties.

2) If they will not listen, take two mature, trusted friends or family members with you.   These should be people you know well; discuss the issue with them and ask if they will help mediate. (If no one will go with you, maybe you should re-think your position.)   Often people will listen if there are others who can add clarity.   Again, negotiations should be calm.

3) If they still will not listen, then, depending on the situation, you will need to either let go of the situation, knowing that you have done everything you can to resolve the matter; or, if it is a legal matter, take the necessary steps to resolve the matter legally.  Either way, you will have peace in knowing that you personally have done the right thing and acted with integrity.

Blessed are the peacemakers ...

For more information on conflict resolution:


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