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Dec 04

4/12 Life Changing Principles and Conflict Solutions

We continue with our theme of Healthy Conflict Solutions by looking at some general principles we have learned as Counsellors for over 25 years.  Let us share some of these valuable lessons.

A.  Most people avoid fights

Very, very few people really enjoy a fight or look for conflict.  Most often, the fight happens with the ‘straw that breaks the camel’s back’.  It might even be such a trivial thing that both people can’t remember the exact thing that started the fight.  Here are some thoughts on handling conflict better so that you can learn from the mistakes and grow in more truth and understanding.

1.  What does it ‘feel’ like when conflict happens in your life?  Most people go through a range of emotions: anger, your denial, guilt, self-blame and condemnation.  Which emotion wins will depend on your fight style and what was the final outcome of the fight.  ‘Healthy fighters’ learn so they avoid the conflict again.

2.  What do you want to change?  Make a plan, work your plan and see the difference.  Think it through long enough to catch a sense of excitement at the possibility of change and growth in conflict.  Get a passion for how healthy conflict could be handled.  Face the risk of trying to change,

3.  See the conflict as a God-given opportunity to refine your chosen healthy new style.  Determine to practice doing something differently with every conflict situation.  Select one thing at a time from this list and determine to practice with each conflict! Conquer one step at a time.  Practice and you will find that life has rewards in your momentum and choice of direction.  As you work through this, you will see that you are in more control of your own life than you realised.

4.  Create meaningful accountability for your actions or inactions.  Find what works for you.  Learn healthy self-management skills.  Set priorities.  How important is for you to learn new skills to resolve the conflicts you face?  ‘Lone Rangers’ get caught in inertia and most often, end up self-driven and self- righteous.  Ask for help and commitment from those you trust.

 

B.  Here is another helpful list to think about:

1.  Own Your own Stuff!  No one can change unless they are willing.  Even God can’t change ‘make’ us change so don’t try to bully others into change either.

2.  Accept the risk that comes with change.  Being vulnerable is part of the change structure.

3.  Accept the person you are having conflict with.  They are caught in their own heart lies and irrational thinking from their past too.  Set them free to be wrong!

4.  Focus on resolving the conflict versus proving you are in the right.

5.  Work toward their self-esteem in the conflict as well as your own.

6.  Aim your frustrations and anger in the right direction – at the problem not at the person!

7.  Learn to be up-front and honest with others.  Practice saying your own needs and desire for conflict resolution rather than continue the ‘Dance of Death’.  Catch yourself when you are using unhealthy manipulation or domination tactics.

8.  See your own need to be ‘happy’ rather than right.  You can be 110% right but the conflict still rages.

9.  Learn from one conflict before you enter the next round.  See how you could have done differently.

10.  Refuse to get blocked by your own issues and emotions.  You are in control of your own choices and decisions.  Choose to do differently and the other will also do differently.

11.  Begin to catch any Judgement or critical evaluations of others.

12. Learn to use the tools of non-judgement and forgiveness with everyone.

C.  Fights are often ‘left-overs’ from the past.

One important thing we have learned in Marriage Counselling it that the issue being fought over  …  is not usually the real issue at all.  Most fights are remainders of unresolved issues from the past.  A fight over who washes the dishes or cleans the car may be something that was forced on a teenager.  The real fight is with the parents of the past.

Often we find conflicts with husbands are really conflicts with the Dad or brothers in the past.  Quarrels with wives are often about females of the past, especially Mother!  The issues get repeated and the buttons are pushed.  Stopping and looking at these buttons often reminds us that complex heart issues are driving the fight rather than simple, solving issues the people feel now.

Remember Conflict is managed not cured!

In our next post, we list some Rules to Fight Fair as conflict will happen.  Learn from the pain when it happens.

Susanne Fengler. Blog Author

www.conflictsolutions.mentorsnotebook.com/blog

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