Dealing with Conflicting Opinions
As people we will generally do anything we can to avoid a conflict, and with good reason. Often times conflicts end in harsh words and hurt feelings. Who likes having their feelings hurt? No one. As a result we gravitate toward people who have adopted similar beliefs to our own and avoid people with differing ones. Now, this begs a question.
Is the actual conflict to blame for this or is it that we allow our emotions to take control?
It is my belief that there is nothing inherently wrong with a good debate. How else are we spouse to understand each other and respect our differences? However, there is a huge difference between a good conflict and a bad conflict. We have all been involved in a conflict that ended horribly and ruined a relationship. Here are some steps that can be helpful in avoiding hurt feelings and ultimately turn a conflict into a learning experience for both parties involved.
- Emotions: Keep them in check! Don’t be offended and don’t be offensive. Allowing negative emotions to take control makes thinking clearly nearly impossible.
- Listen: Pay attention! There is a difference between allowing someone to speak and actually taking in what they are saying. Stay alert and stay focused.
- Understand: Put yourself in their shoes. It’s cheesy, but it works. If you are able to look at the issue from their perspective, then helping them understand your point of view becomes much easier.
- Progress: Make sure it happens! There is nothing more annoying than a circular conversation. Be constructive with your points and make sure the conversation keeps moving forward.
- Closure: There is nothing wrong with ending the conversation and agreeing to disagree. As long as you are ending the conversation on a positive note, then both parties will learn and take something good away from the conversation.
Keep in mind that these steps apply to both parties involved and that it is a process. If one of the persons involved becomes upset or offensive, then it is best to skip to the last step and end the conversation. There is no way to move on to the next step and understanding will never be reached.
Conflict is caused by misunderstandings and preconceived notions about a certain belief, idea or viewpoint. It is my hope that one day we will all become experts at understanding and expressing ourselves so that we will no longer be afraid of conflict. After all, conflict is what starts the cycle of learning, growth and understanding.
Conflict should not be a dirty word and we should not shy away from it, we should embrace it.
Posted on August 9, 2012, in Negative Emotions, Psychology and tagged conflict, conflict management, conflict resolution, how to deal with confilct, more, negative emotions. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.