Smart Way #40: Fix fights and fight fair

All relationships are tested. How well you deal with conflict it is a sign of maturity and people skills.

Instead of diffusing or dealing with conflict, some people take to social media to vent and to gain group support. Unfortunately, when used this way, the digital world just fans the flame of conflict.

The same can be said of texting and messaging. When it comes to understanding where someone is really coming from, make the effort to phone them or see them in person. Don’t just text or leave a quick comment on their status.

Remember that conflict is almost never one sided, but most of us don’t want to take responsibility for the part we’ve played! Here are 4 steps adapted from author Marshall Rosenberg’s principles of non-violent communication.

  1. Observe what happened, without emotion or judgement and only state the facts. For example, “You were one hour late for our meeting.” Or, you could combine the fact with emotion and say, “You were so late that we missed the movie, and now I’m stuck with the cost of yours and my tickets!” This ‘attack’ approach usually sets up resistance and justification which only drives the conflict further.
  2. Self-empathy – allow yourself to feel your emotions – remembering that anger is usually masking frustration.
  3. Empathy for the other person – try to see their perspective because their feelings are valid to them.
  4. Create a win – win outcome – ask for what you want in a way that it will be received and expect to compromise.

Working through all four steps will show you that the key to resolving conflict is most often Forgiveness.

Smart Way #40 of Making It on My Own; 52 Smart Ways to Smash It in the Real World.