Positive Ways to Resolve Conflict

Getting Past Your Differences

Disagreements and even arguments are part of every relationship at some time or another. When these conflicts arise, try not to get caught up in them and push things past the point of no return, where feelings are hurt and grudges are held. It is always best to end a conflict before it gets to that point, but what are some positive ways to resolve conflict when you feel things are heating up?

7 Helpful Hints on Positive Ways to Resolve Conflict

1) Step Back and Take a Break from the Discussion – Sometimes the conversation is going nowhere, and everyone involved knows it. Now might be the moment when you should call a time out, and agree to meet again later to continue the discussion. No issue is going to be resolved satisfactorily when everyone is riled up and full of anger.

2) Try to See the Other Side of the Argument – Even though it is easy to get caught up in who is right and who is wrong, always be willing to see the other person’s side of the story. Take a moment if you need to, in order to stop and look at the situation through the eyes and heart of the person you are arguing with. If you do this consistently, in time you will grow to understand the person instead of being inclined to attack them.

3) Find Common Ground – When disagreements are heating up, it is helpful to take a step back and remember what you have in common. Think about the things you agree on and can find commonality in. If you can outweigh the negative thoughts with positive ones, you will find it much easier to resolve your conflict.

4) Pay Attention to the Person – Stop talking. Sit back, really listen, and absorb what the other person is saying. Ask questions about their point of view. Repeat back to them what they are saying to ensure that you are understanding them correctly.

Think about the person instead of just the argument. This will take the conflict from hostility back to a place where you actually care what the other person is thinking and feeling.

5) Compromise Whenever Possible – If at all possible, compromise. There are times when too much is at stake to give up your position and find middle ground, but most of the time it is quite manageable to find a solution that can eventually work for everyone. Work together to find a way for everyone to feel that the outcome is reasonable.

Sometimes it can be helpful to involve a neutral third party to help you find a workable compromise.

6) Give In and Let It Go – If you have gotten caught up in a mess that seems impossible to resolve, decide to end it immediately by giving in to the other person’s point of view.

If you are in a conflict with someone who is important to you, remind yourself that the relationship is worth more than being right. Forgive each other and move on. It is rarely worth winning an argument if you lose an important relationship in the process.

7) Walk Away – There are some situations where you just need to to what is best for you. If there is no middle ground, no possibility of compromise, and you find yourself at the wrong end of a difficult situation, you might need to leave altogether, quit your job, or end the relationship.

This should only be considered as a last resort and only if the conflict is a truly serious matter.

Conflicts can sometimes heat up quickly, and it can seem like there is no way to stop once you’ve gone past the point of no return. But don’t ever lose heart, as there is always some way to cool things off. Keep this list in mind the next time you get caught up in a disagreement that is not going anywhere, and you will be ready with positive ways to resolve conflict when it actually occurs.

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Norma Esler
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