When conflicts occur in my relationships, I try to approach people the same way I would want to be approached.
I am someone who is now, for the most part, comfortable with confrontation. One thing that’s true is that I insist on is full honesty, no matter how uncomfortable the conversation is. I appreciate my authentic desire and ability to make people feel comfortable enough around me to approach me with anything. Confrontation though can be tricky, for it is all about delivery.
Over the past months I have learned some really valuable lessons around conflict and things being left ‘incomplete.’ It is easy in this life to let things slide, with the intention that ‘I’ll get back to that later,’ or ‘It isn’t that big of a deal,’ etc. I have felt the discomfort of living this way, and have really seen first hand the negative impact it can have on inner sanctity and relational dynamics.
With regards to handling conflict or getting complete with something, there are two components to really take a look at: naming your personal experience, and examining your audience.
Conflict resolution doesn’t progress if I come to the person I’m incomplete with and blame them, or react from anger or hurt. An expression of a personal experience can’t be negated. It can’t be proven wrong. So being able to come forward just with the intention to share and gain understanding is so important.
When taking a look at examining your audience, an important factor to consider here is having both parties needs met. If I approach someone who doesn’t appreciate confrontation, I should find a healthy balance between saying exactly what I need to say and making sure that the other party is nurtured, while also making sure that I say what I need to say. This ensures that both parties are left in a more honest space.
I’m speaking on this because I just recently went through a situation between myself and a friend. For about two weeks, I planned in my head how I would confront him about the issue. I realized through that period of time how all of my solutions were ways in which I would want to be approached, and until I came to an awareness of him disconnecting from me as I approached him, I saw in me the importance of dual care.
So I think of it to be critical, approach people you are in conflict with in a caring and nurturing manner. Allow the other person to be relaxed in their reception of the information, and always make sure that you are able to say exactly what you need to say.
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Ed: Brianna Bemel