Image: morguefile.com Conflict can be beneficial if handled the right way.
In Part 1 we looked at tips on how we can all handle conflict better within our lives and relationships, and why it doesn't always have to be as awful as we imagine. We learnt about making any conflict into a better situation and relationship for all involved. We discovered why conflict is not necessarily about whose right and about whose wrong. It is all about making the relationship better.
Now let's look at things that make conflicts worse, and hence should be avoided at all costs. You'll also discover what you need to do if you cannot reach an end to the conflict.
What things should we avoid when involved in any conflict?
1) Physical, verbal or sexual abuse of any kind. Don't name call, insult or put down the other person. Such behaviour is childish and makes things worse. The same goes for throwing, banging or breaking things. The other person may forget what the fight was about in the future. yet they probably won't forget what you called them or their possession that you broke - especially if the latter has some significant sentimental value.
2) Screaming or raising our voices too loud. The other person will feel so deflated that they will stop listening. People close by may end up hearing your private conversation.
3) Trying to resolve the conflict when you or any other person involved is too upset or too angry over whatever it is. This won't ever work well. You are not thinking straight. You may end up doing or saying something that you will later regret, and of which you can't take back. Things will only escalate further, of which will only lead to further conflict.
4) Involving others, unless it becomes necessary. You can't find a solution, or you feel you are in danger.
5) Arguing in front of children. They understand and hear more than we realise.
6) Arguing in public or at a bad time. The fight can be delayed to a more appropriate time.
7) Interruptions. Turn off telephones, music and other electrical devices - including the TV to name - as your full attention on the other person is needed.
What can we do if we cannot reach a compromise or a resolution?
Reassess the situation
Perhaps brainstorm ideas together
Sleep on it. Take some time. Spend some quality time apart if necessary. Try again soon.
See a professional such as a Psychologist, Relationships Counsellor or Psychiatrist. It is possible to get Medicare bulk billing Counsellors and Psychologists.
If work related, it may be necessary to speak to someone in management or human resources. Your organisation may have an employee assistance program to assist with such problems.
Accept that sometimes we must agree to disagree, and that each of us is entitled to our own opinion.
If things get too dangerous or if you feel threatened, contact the police on 000.
Do you have any suggestions to add? What has helped you cope with conflict in the past?
Please feel free to share by leaving your comments where appropriate.