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Conflict: 6 Ways To Deal With Conflicts So Everybody Wins

stress and conflict

Conflict: 6 Ways To Deal With Conflicts So Everybody Wins

conflicts and stressWhen you come across a difficult situation and you can feel yourself getting enraged, think about the following:

Conflicts can be constructive and make people think outside of their normal comfortable thoughts. Some of the best ideas and resolutions can stem from conflict. But this isn’t always the case.

But how can you make this interaction as positive as possible?

By taking the following 6 steps:

  1. Take a moment

This feeling of anger during a conflict is a momentary thing, and it will not last. Any decision you make in this moment will not have any judgement involved and will be purely reactionary. These kinds of decisions almost always do nothing to end the conflict and instead they tend to flame it. The best action to take is to take a moment, and think about what’s happening. What are you actually angry about and will this REALLY affect you in the long run? Probably not.

  1. Who’s been affected?

What are you trying to defend in this moment of conflict? The important thing is that you’re safe. If that’s taken care of, maybe you’re angry because your character and what you stand for has been affected. But before you get offended, think about this. If you are someone of high integrity and character, why would it matter if someone has questioned that? You are STILL that person and one person’s interpretation of that won’t change who you are. You don’t need to defend the truth and it will always prevail. Don’t waste your energy trying to prove anything because you simply don’t have to. You are you who you are based on your actions and anything you say can’t change that.

  1. How will this affect your health?

Stress during conflict is a result of our bodies biological reaction to a situation to help us deal with it better. It prepares us for either a fight or flight reaction to what is happening. Regardless of what is happening, your body reacts to how you perceive the situation. If these situations are not being handled and they continue to happen, stress can have many adverse effects on your body. In a July 2012 article on Web MD, it states that ‘Stress can play a part in problems such as headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, and anxiety’. You have to take stress seriously, especially if it’s affecting your long-term health. When you take this into consideration, the situation causing you stress doesn’t seem that important anymore.


  1. Were you at fault?

When we are in a conflict, we tend to not take any blame for the situation. It becomes seriously one-sided and we have to defend every action we have taken up until that moment because if we don’t, we have to concede that we may have made a mistake.

What is more likely is that if you are in a conflict, you have made a mistake along the way. A wrong action at the wrong time caused this, and now you are in a situation that you don’t want to be in. This doesn’t mean the other party is not to blame. But you have no influence on the way they think or act so all you can control is yourself. People have different motivations, beliefs, values and goals. Hold yourself accountable, put yourself in their shoes and learn from this. Be the bigger person and take steps to make sure this doesn’t happen again. Then, move on.

  1. Create a dialogue

The best outcome in this situation is a constructive one. One in which both parties can go away feeling like it went well. This must be your aim. The best forms of conflict resolution are mediation and negotiation. Don’t be a victim but take on the role of a mediator. See the issue from both sides and find some common ground that can be discussed. There will be no discussion if there is nothing in common, so find that and work from there. Something of value will come from this instead and you won’t have any lingering anger dragging on.

  1. Don’t bang your head against the wall

You can’t resolve every conflict. Sometimes, you have to learn to move on. Time is a great healer and when you think the time is right, return to mediate and resolve the issue.

Note: Through an intriguing story of parents struggling with their troubled children and with their own personal problems, The Anatomy of Peace shows how to get past the preconceived ideas and self-justifying reactions that keep us from seeing the world clearly and dealing with it effectively.

Dr Prem Jagyasi

Dr Prem Jagyasi

Author, Publisher & Global Speaker at DrPrem.com
Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.
Dr Prem Jagyasi
Dr Prem Jagyasi
  • penholdr

    I used to shy away from conflict until I had a perspective change. Conflict in itself is not bad. Conflict is like a sword. It’s a tool that can be used to help or to hurt. You have to decide how you’re going to wield it.

    Another important thing to remember that in conflict, you should never go in with the mindset of, “I’m going to win this.” Healthy conflict isn’t about you and getting what you want, but instead approach it with the goal of seeking to understand the different sides of the conflict and finding the best resolution for all parties.

  • ginNtronic

    These are very good points and I would like to add that so much of it is about swallowing your pride to reach a resolution. Even if you are clearly or more in the right than the the other, making the other person feel really bad, blaming them, or yelling at them isn’t going to get you anywhere no matter how satisfying it is at the moment.

    This is exactly the situation I was in this afternoon. I wanted to shove it in the other’s face because they had wronged me but I kept my cool and explained why I was irritated and hurt. It was very hard to do but things are now immensely better between the two of us after the convo.

  • Habadasher

    So.. Don’t be a dick? Seems simple enough.

  • assumes

    I can actually get really depressed when I encounter people who so shy away from conflict that they refuse to stand up for themselves, even when they’re in the right… like when another student in my class was clearly under marked on a test and wouldn’t bring it up because it “wasn’t worth the trouble”. I wanted to grab that damned test out of his hand and march it to the professor myself.. I guess it’s because I used to be the same way, but I’ve worked hard to break out of that shell and stand up for myself and my beliefs. But when smart, capable people are still being hindered by fear of conflict, I dunno, it just depresses the hell outta me.

  • penholdr

    I know for me and for a lot of people I meet who also have trouble with conflict, this fear/avoidance stems from having people in the past who didn’t use conflict in a way that was helpful. For example, my parents were TERRIBLE with conflict. Conflict always turned into shouting matches where anyone in it’s path were hurt.

    Though, in past years, when I would see someone have healthy conflict (especially with me), it would really encourage me to not shy away from it so much.

    Also I realized that even though I thought I was “keeping the peace” by avoiding conflict, I wasn’t making anything better.

  • NerdMachine

    One thing I learned from business school was a conflict resolution theory. It was discussed in the context of collective agreements, but I think it also applies well to interpersonal conflicts.

    It described three levels of conflict resolution, and that you should always start at the “lowest” level where possible.

    Level one: Interests

    Find a mutually beneficial solution that benefits both people to produce cooperation.
    “If we go to Die Hard instead of Princes Bride we will both enjoy it and have a better evening than if we went to Princess bride, because you won’t enjoy that one as much.”

    Level two: Rights

    Appealing to some higher law or authority to get compliance/cooperation from the other person.
    “We saw Marley and Me last time so it’s only fair that today we go to see Die Hard.”

    Level three: power:

    You use strength and/or coercion to compel the other person to comply.
    “We are going to Die Hard or I’m going to kick your ass.”

    Just about any conflict can be described like this. Imagine a belligerent drunk at ta restaurant:

    “Sir please leave, we don’t want any trouble for us or yourself.” (Interests)
    “Sir you are now trespassing, you must leave by the laws of Canada.” (Rights)
    Bouncer physically removes drunk from restaurant. (Power)

  • dJe781

    The article isn’t too bad, but it seems to me that it focuses too much on how you should feel and too less on how you should act. The thing is that conflict cannot be solved without taking action.

    Also, I find it difficult to solve conflicts with these pointers alone because the way you handle conflict in a personal context is VERY different from the way you should handle it in a professional context.

    Here are a few pointers for professional context :

    Always verbally. No conflict has ever been solved in writing. This is especially true now that everyone uses texts or emails on a daily basis, and that writing became easier than talking.

    Use facts. No personal point of view, appreciations or feeling. Facts. A professional isn’t trying to achieve anything on the emotional level through his job because it would mean that he’s likely to make his decisions based on his emotional issues. We all know that we indeed have emotional issues, all of us, but keeping it out of the problem is the best way to make some progress.

    Build a solution. Talk about the future instead of the past. “If it happens again” isn’t talking about future, it’s talking about what happened in the past. It’s very much appreciated to be constructive instead of focusing on what has been done wrong. If you’re entirely at fault, a small part of the discussion should be dedicated to acknowledging your responsibility. But it shouldn’t been done in more than two sentences. Once it’s done, focus on building a system that prevents it from happening again. If you’re not entirely at fault, or not at fault at all, just do the same : be constructive. People will be grateful for not sticking it to them once again, and building a solution is enough of an emphasis to make them understand that the problem has to be taken care of.

    Of course, there always are some particularities and you should give some thought about who you are in business with, what they want to achieve on a personal level, and make sure that your plans don’t threaten them (professionally AND emotionally, most of the dicks at work out there are wrecks in their personal life and are just compensating for this pain). If your plans do threaten them, you have to be more subtle about this conflict, and that’s what negociation is.

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