“Peace is not the absence of chaos or conflict, but rather finding yourself in the midst of that chaos and remaining calm in your heart. “
Some people think that peace in their hearts, in their relationships, and in the world can only exist without the presence of conflict. With a tired and weary soul, they wait for everything around them to be perfect, according to their standards, before they recognize harmony in their lives.
What if I told you that it is the human condition to encounter conflict. If handled with an eager spirit and a positive frame of mind, conflict can lead to a better understanding of our fellow human, and personal growth of the highest magnitude.
Conflict is part of living our lives on this planet. Billions of other people are trying to find their way through life, or actually finding it using methods that are sometimes very DIFFERENT from ours. Conflict arises because of DIFFERENCES in perspective and approach, and that is inevitable.
People are born into different types of family structures, are raised with different values, seek different goals, and have different opinions. These differences are a beautiful thing when looked at through lenses of compassion and respect, and they open all kinds of doors for expanded awareness.
Face it. People are not just like you.
Friends, family members, lovers, children, and even strangers come in and out of our lives, offering their little pieces of insight, preferences, sarcasm, animosity, and so on. When we know not everyone thinks the same way we do, we take the first step in building a bridge to interactions with other people who is based on calm and positive communication.
When we take a moment to realize that situations seen from others’ life glasses do not always reflect the world as we see it, we remain peaceful in our dealings with everyone that crosses our path.
Have you ever had a disagreement in your relationship regarding…
* Relationship responsiblities
*Views on Budgeting and Spending
* Spending Time Together
* Vacationing and leisure choices
Have you ever been so sure of your belief, position, or lifestyle that you approached every point of view counter to yours as “wrong?”
Do you ever feel like anyone that disagrees with you is launching an attack on you personally?
Do you ever sit in judgment of people that come at life from different angles, paces, personalities, or ethical theories?
Figuring out how to deal with conflict in a healthy way is critical to your ability to live the joyous life you are meant to live.
Our goal in living an abundant and rich life is to first recognize conflict for the opportunity that it is. Once conflict is seen as a gift, a chance to learn something about ourselves and the people in our world, we can finally let go of all the resistance that is standing in our way of beautiful interactions with anyone.
Some like to call it “managing” conflict. I like to call it acceptance of and respect for a truth that is most definitely a shade of gray, and not black or white.
In our personal relationships, and in the world, when we take any seemingly negative conflict and turn it inside out, revealing all the delicate issues and underlying stories, we begin to find that often elusive “meet me in the middle” spot that is pure gold.
The next time you find yourself facing a conflict with another, stop yourself dead in your tracks before taking any type of action, and proceed with caution, keeping these points in mind…
- Remain quiet – Find a stillness in your body and mind that’s undisturbed by any outside influence. Close your eyes if you must, take a deep breath if you have to, and release anything that would have you act out in anger, rage, or spite.
- Clear your thoughts of judgment – Allow an openness toward possibility and new ways of thinking to become your frame of reference. Free yourself of any pre-disposed ideas of how someone should think or what should happen.
- Let them talk – Really listen to the other person. Hear what they have to say. Hear the words they choose, the emotions they express, and outlook they bring to the situation.
- Repeat what you hear – Acknowledging what someone is telling you lets them know that you want to hear their side of the story. It raises the other party up to the level of equal, so that both sides can come at a solution without feeling defensive, put down, or dismissed.
- Say what you need to say – with honesty, confidence, composure, and clarity. Say what is on in your heart and on your mind, with compassion, yet without apology.
- Separate the behavior from the person – Stay appreciative of the fact that many years, experiences, and choices or lack thereof, have given the other person the standpoint that they have. They are not their thoughts. They are not their actions. They can control their thoughts and their thoughts can change, just as yours can.
- Be willing to see things in a new light – If you experience a change in perspective, based on your encounter with another person, be forthcoming and sincere with your wisdom.
In most cases of interpersonal conflict, peaceful resolution is seen with application of these thoughtful actions.
In some instances, despite all of our efforts, our “opposing” partner in mutual enlightenment is not ready to be persuaded, converted, or recognized. They may shout or become abusive, mentally or physically. If you find yourself in this scenario, courageously honor yourself by stating your position and then walk away.
Knowing that you are at place inside of you where peace is present, and no acts of others can disturb it.
Curt Canada Board Certified Coach and Social Worker at Adapting2Change in Washington DC works with clients to better themselves and their relationships. Email Curt to Schedule a Consultation today! firstname.lastname@example.org