Conflict Resolution – Why & How You Should Work On It

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We are all social animals! We all deal and communicate with a number of people on a daily basis, be it personal life, romantic life, or professional life. Our daily life, and the goals we set for ourselves, is defined largely by how we navigate our relationships. And when we deal with people, disagreements and conflicts are bound to happen! These are not just daunting and disturbing, but also take away a lot more! 

But the truth is… 

Conflicts are just a part of life, these are inevitable because we are human, we love to connect with people, we need to socialise with people, and since we all grew up in different environments, and different settings, our values, our teachings obviously differ. In the journey of life we are going to encounter people who think, work, and deal with things in an entirely different and unique way as compared to ours. Have you ever noticed, members of the same household, who live under one roof, are not all alike? We meet countless numbers of individuals throughout our life, and these individuals have a massive influence on us and on our personality. Hence, It is nearly impossible today to grow up in a family, work at a job, or have relationships without experiencing multiple conflicts. 

And this is absolutely normal and healthy, experiencing conflicts in a relationship is not a sign of fragility. It can, rather, be seen as an opportunity to improve and set healthy boundaries. 

The Outstanding thing about conflict, though, is that it is completely resolvable. 

Conflict resolution is a skill and a process that enables us to conciliate whatever the issue is. It allows us to come to a mutual agreement and find a common ground to work on, peacefully and healthily. If not dealt efficiently and with the right strategies it can possibly destroy our relationships. 

Why should we resolve conflicts in the first place? 

Being in a weird space with someone can be extremely tiring and it has the power to make us feeble, it can drain energy, affect work-life balance and other areas of life. 

Recall the time when you had a heated argument or any disagreement with your mother, or your partner, or your team member…how did it feel then? What emotions and feelings came up for you at that moment? In what ways did you deal with the dispute? 

I am sure it did not feel good at all! Also, conflicts are scary and frightening, especially if you are someone who was never taught or demonstrated how to show up to such situations, then the situation can get even more scary and unpleasant. For example, you might start avoiding dealing with the conflicts or taking a stand for yourself, or even isolate yourself from social situations resulting in low self-esteem, lack of social skills and some other concerns that might negatively affect your quality of life. Research shows that having acquired such unhealthy coping skills can be damaging for yourself and your relationship dynamics.

But here is some good news, just like any other skill or teaching that you have learned till now, can be unlearned and relearned. Since resolving a conflict is a skill, you can also learn it and discover the strategies that work for you. 

Some common conflict resolution strategies for any kind of dynamic The most important goal of conflict resolution is to build mutual respect, and encourage each other to come to a conclusion in a united and co-operative way. But here is some truth, if you want your conflict to go away; you must be willing to put in effort. 

Here are some general strategies 

Acknowledging the issue Before starting to work towards any issue resolution, the first step is to acknowledge that there is some kind of issue that is damaging the present relationship.

Communicating – Expression and clarification, active communication is the core of resolving any issue that involves more than one person. This step does not just include expressing our concerns to the other person, but also actively listening to what the other person has to say. By providing each other a safe space to express, rapport and respect is established and everyone, whoever is involved, feels comfortable. (listen with the motive to understand and not just respond or reply).

Collaborating and finding solutions or alternatives – Work together and brainstorm the ideas to find a common ground. Sometimes the common ground is not achieved, in that case, you can accept and respect other people’s opinions. We encourage you to show kindness and set healthy boundaries.

Coping with the stress or other irritants – During the entire process, feeling overwhelmed is very common, do not beat yourself up for this. Keep taking timeouts, keep yourself hydrated and set some ground rules. Some common ground rules that we use in therapy are…avoid using swear words, do not interrupt when another person is speaking, take breaks and show empathy during those breaks and avoid blaming each other.

Involving a professional can help you to get a better understanding of the situation. Counsellors and Coaches can help you upskill yourself to better face such challenges! You can also try attending some self developmental workshops on this topic. 

You may want to explore self development programs on MiindMyMiind.com to enable yourself to lead a Miindfully healthy life by becoming healthily Miindful! 

Click to know more or drop us a query support@miindmymiind.com or Contact us :- 9888130005 

Article written by a mental health professional Mx. Kirti!

 

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      Dass 21 Questionnaire

      Check your Depression / Anxiety and Stress Level


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      Question

      1 (s) I found it hard to wind down.

       

      0 - Did not apply to me at all.
      1 - Applied to me to some degree, or some of the time.
      2 - Applied to me to a considerable degree or a good part of time.
      3 - Applied to me very much or most of the time.

      2 (a) I was aware of dryness of my mouth.

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      1 - Applied to me to some degree, or some of the time.
      2 - Applied to me to a considerable degree or a good part of time.
      3 - Applied to me very much or most of the time.

      3 (d) I couldn’t seem to experience any positive feeling at all.

      0 - Did not apply to me at all.
      1 - Applied to me to some degree, or some of the time.
      2 - Applied to me to a considerable degree or a good part of time.
      3 - Applied to me very much or most of the time.

      4 (a) I experienced breathing difficulty (e.g. excessively rapid breathing,
      breathlessness in the absence of physical exertion).

      0 - Did not apply to me at all.
      1 - Applied to me to some degree, or some of the time.
      2 - Applied to me to a considerable degree or a good part of time.
      3 - Applied to me very much or most of the time.

      5 (d) I found it difficult to work up the initiative to do things.

      0 - Did not apply to me at all.
      1 - Applied to me to some degree, or some of the time.
      2 - Applied to me to a considerable degree or a good part of time.
      3 - Applied to me very much or most of the time.

      6 (s) I tended to over-react to situations.

      0 - Did not apply to me at all.
      1 - Applied to me to some degree, or some of the time.
      2 - Applied to me to a considerable degree or a good part of time.
      3 - Applied to me very much or most of the time.

      7 (a) I experienced trembling (e.g. in the hands).

      0 - Did not apply to me at all.
      1 - Applied to me to some degree, or some of the time.
      2 - Applied to me to a considerable degree or a good part of time.
      3 - Applied to me very much or most of the time.

      8 (s) I felt that I was using a lot of nervous energy.

      0 - Did not apply to me at all.
      1 - Applied to me to some degree, or some of the time.
      2 - Applied to me to a considerable degree or a good part of time.
      3 - Applied to me very much or most of the time.

      9 (a) I was worried about situations in which I might panic and make a fool
      of myself.

      0 - Did not apply to me at all.
      1 - Applied to me to some degree, or some of the time.
      2 - Applied to me to a considerable degree or a good part of time.
      3 - Applied to me very much or most of the time.

      10 (d) I felt that I had nothing to look forward to.

      0 - Did not apply to me at all.
      1 - Applied to me to some degree, or some of the time.
      2 - Applied to me to a considerable degree or a good part of time.
      3 - Applied to me very much or most of the time.

      11 (s) I found myself getting agitated.

      0 - Did not apply to me at all.
      1 - Applied to me to some degree, or some of the time.
      2 - Applied to me to a considerable degree or a good part of time.
      3 - Applied to me very much or most of the time.

      12 (s) I found it difficult to relax.

      0 - Did not apply to me at all.
      1 - Applied to me to some degree, or some of the time.
      2 - Applied to me to a considerable degree or a good part of time.
      3 - Applied to me very much or most of the time.

      13 (d) I felt down-hearted and blue.

      0 - Did not apply to me at all.
      1 - Applied to me to some degree, or some of the time.
      2 - Applied to me to a considerable degree or a good part of time.
      3 - Applied to me very much or most of the time.

      14 (s) I was intolerant of anything that kept me from getting on with what I
      was doing.

      0 - Did not apply to me at all.
      1 - Applied to me to some degree, or some of the time.
      2 - Applied to me to a considerable degree or a good part of time.
      3 - Applied to me very much or most of the time.

      15 (a) I felt I was close to panic.

      0 - Did not apply to me at all.
      1 - Applied to me to some degree, or some of the time.
      2 - Applied to me to a considerable degree or a good part of time.
      3 - Applied to me very much or most of the time.

      16 (d) I was unable to become enthusiastic about anything.

      0 - Did not apply to me at all.
      1 - Applied to me to some degree, or some of the time.
      2 - Applied to me to a considerable degree or a good part of time.
      3 - Applied to me very much or most of the time.

      17 (d) I felt I wasn’t worth much as a person.

      0 - Did not apply to me at all.
      1 - Applied to me to some degree, or some of the time.
      2 - Applied to me to a considerable degree or a good part of time.
      3 - Applied to me very much or most of the time.

      18 (s) I felt that I was rather touchy.

      0 - Did not apply to me at all.
      1 - Applied to me to some degree, or some of the time.
      2 - Applied to me to a considerable degree or a good part of time.
      3 - Applied to me very much or most of the time.

      19 (a) I was aware of the action of my heart in the absence of physical
      exertion (e.g. sense of heart rate increase, heart missing a beat).

      0 - Did not apply to me at all.
      1 - Applied to me to some degree, or some of the time.
      2 - Applied to me to a considerable degree or a good part of time.
      3 - Applied to me very much or most of the time.

      20 (a) I felt scared without any good reason.

      0 - Did not apply to me at all.
      1 - Applied to me to some degree, or some of the time.
      2 - Applied to me to a considerable degree or a good part of time.
      3 - Applied to me very much or most of the time.

      21 (d) I felt that life was meaningless.

      0 - Did not apply to me at all.
      1 - Applied to me to some degree, or some of the time.
      2 - Applied to me to a considerable degree or a good part of time.
      3 - Applied to me very much or most of the time.

      Your score is

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      Locus of control

      A big question we all feel - am I in control of my life?

      This test helps you ascertain the degree of control that you believe  you have over your life and the events that occur. This belief plays a huge role in the satisfaction levels that we feel.


      /10

      1 / 10

      Is there some bad habit, such as smoking, that you would like to break but can’t?

      2 / 10

      Do you take steps, such as exercise and diet to control your weight and fitness?

      3 / 10

      Do you believe that your personality was firmly laid down in childhood so there is little you can do to change it?

      4 / 10

      Do you make your own decisions, regardless of what other people say?

      5 / 10

      Do you find it a waste of time to plan ahead because something always causes you to change direction?

      6 / 10

      If something goes wrong, do usually reckon it’s your own fault rather than just bad luck?

      7 / 10

      Are most of the things you do designed to please other people?

      8 / 10

      Do you often feel you are the victim of outside forces you cannot control?

      9 / 10

      Do you usually manage to resist being persuaded by other people’s arguments?

      10 / 10

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          How do You Cope with Anger?

          (The Behavioural Anger Response Questionnaire, BARQ)

          What do you most likely to do when you experience anger? This 34-item measure assesses your anger responses for children and adolescents – and may tell you which response you tend to favour when experiencing this strong, unpleasant emotion. A list of statements are provided below. State whether each of the statements are not true, sometimes true, or often true. This measure was developed specifically for children and young adolescents.


          /34

          1 / 34

          I say something nasty to the person who made me angry.

          2 / 34

          I use strong gestures (for example, make a fist, wave my arms, or give a hand sign).

          3 / 34

          I swear or curse, at the person who made me angry.

          4 / 34

          I hit or push the person who made me angry.

          5 / 34

          I express my anger by slamming a door, or hitting something.

          6 / 34

          I shout.

          7 / 34

          I wait until I am calm again and then talk to the person who made me angry. 

          8 / 34

          I carefully think it over and then tell the person who made me angry how I feel.

          9 / 34

          In a calm voice, I tell the person who made me angry how I honestly feel.

          10 / 34

          I try to understand what happened, so I can explain things to the person who made me angry.

          11 / 34

          I stay calm, and I try to talk about the problem and the person who made me angry. 

          12 / 34

          I leave the situation in order to calm down, and then try to solve the problem.

          13 / 34

          I do not show my anger but I talk about what happened with someone afterwards.

          14 / 34

          I leave the situation and look for someone who will agree with me.

          15 / 34

          I leave the situation, find someone to listen to my story, and ask for advice. 

          16 / 34

          I think about the problem first and then talk about it with someone.

          17 / 34

          I leave the situation and call a friend or family member to tell him/her how I feel. 

          18 / 34

          Even without planning it, I usually end up talking about my feelings with someone.

          19 / 34

          I get rid of my anger by playing music, writing, or painting. 

          20 / 34

          I just keep busy, until I stop feeling angry.

          21 / 34

          I work off my anger by doing some sport. 

          22 / 34

          I stay on my own to get rid of my anger.

          23 / 34

          I simply get very busy with other things to get rid of my anger.

          24 / 34

          I work off my anger by doing something else, like playing on the computer.

          25 / 34

          I tell myself that what happened is not important.

          26 / 34

          I try to forget what happened.

          27 / 34

          I put what happened out of my mind.

          28 / 34

          I do not want to have to cause trouble, so I keep my feelings to myself.

          29 / 34

          I just wait to feel better.

          30 / 34

          I try to keep busy so I can forget about what happened.

          31 / 34

          I keep thinking about what I wish I had done, but didn’t do.

          32 / 34

          I find it hard to stop thinking about what happened.

          33 / 34

          I am upset for a long time after this kind of situation.

          34 / 34

          In my mind, I go over the situation that made me angry again and again.

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          Are You Kind to Yourself?

          (The Self-Compassion Scale – Short Form, SCS-SF)

          Are you kind to yourself, and accepting of your personality? Self-compassion relates to your ability to ‘hold one’s suffering with a sense of warmth, connection and concern (Neff, 2003). This ability consists of self-kindness, self-judgement, the view that others suffer too (common humanity), feelings of isolation from others when one fails, as well as mindfulness towards one’s difficult situation and the extent to which one over-identifies with failure. This 12-item measure assesses your self-compassion ability. Simply answer each statement from ‘almost never’ to ‘almost always’ to indicate the extent to which you engage in these behaviours during difficult times of challenge and setbacks.


          /12

          1 / 12

          I’m intolerant and impatient towards those aspects of my personality I don’t like.

          2 / 12

          I’m disapproving and judgmental about my own flaws and inadequacies.

          3 / 12

          When I feel inadequate in some way, I try to remind myself that feelings of inadequacy are shared by most people.

          4 / 12

          When I’m feeling down I tend to obsess and fixate on everything that’s wrong.

          5 / 12

          When I fail at something that’s important to me, I tend to feel alone in my failure.

          6 / 12

          When something upsets me I try to keep my emotions in balance.

          7 / 12

          When I’m going through a very hard time, I give myself the caring and tenderness I need.

          8 / 12

          I try to see my failings as part of the human condition.

          9 / 12

          When I’m feeling down, I tend to feel like most other people are probably happier than I am.

          10 / 12

          When something painful happens I try to take a balanced view of the situation.

          11 / 12

          I try to be understanding and patient towards those aspects of my personality I don’t like.

          12 / 12

          When I fail at something important to me I become consumed by feelings of inadequacy.

          Your score is

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          How Mindfully Aware and Attentive are You?

          (Mindful Attempt Awareness Scale; MAAS)

          Being mindful means being consciously, deliberately attentive towards your present circumstances and environment, and being curious and non- judgmental towards the thoughts and emotions that arise as a result of one’s situation. This 15-item measure of mindfulness, called the Mindful Attempt Awareness Scale (MAAS) is designed to assess how mindful you generally are.


          /15

          1 / 15

          I could be experiencing some emotion and not be conscious of it until sometime later.

          2 / 15

          I break or spill things because of carelessness, not paying attention, or thinking of something else.

          3 / 15

          I find it difficult to stay focused on what’s happening in the present.

          4 / 15

          I tend to walk quickly to get where I’m going without paying attention to what I experience along the way.

          5 / 15

          I tend not to notice feelings of physical tension or discomfort until they really grab my attention.

          6 / 15

          I forget a person’s name almost as soon as I’ve been told it for the first time.

          7 / 15

          It seems I am “running on automatic” without much awareness of what I’m doing.

          8 / 15

          I rush through activities without being really attentive to them.

          9 / 15

          I get so focused on the goal I want to achieve that I lose touch of what I’m doing.

          10 / 15

          I do jobs or tasks automatically, without being aware of what I’m doing.

          11 / 15

          I find myself listening to someone with one ear, doing something else at the same time.

          12 / 15

          I drive places on “automatic pilot” and then wonder why I went there.

          13 / 15

          I find myself preoccupied with the future or the past.

          14 / 15

          I find myself doing things without paying attention.

          15 / 15

          I snack without being aware that I’m eating.

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