Conflicts and Resolution
With so many different personality traits interacting, conflict may seem inevitable. Take heart, it does not have to be permanent. Conflicts can be resolved. Resolve comes from a Latin word meaning “to loosen”. Thus, conflict is solved when we loosen our grip on being right or having it ‘my way’. Make relationship more important than being right.
I define conflict as “having opposing views without grace.” It does not matter with whom the opposing views are (you with you, you with your heritage, you and God, you and another) conflict ceases to be conflict when seasoned with grace.
Conflict happens through unchallenged beliefs. To blindly accept hand-me-down lore as the only viable way closes one’s mind to the wondrous variety of humanity. It is okay to identify with one’s culture, just not to the exclusion of others. Each ethnicity has valid worth.
Everything has a trade off. In all relationships there is give and take for the good of the whole. I could have a fulfilled life without ever playing “Hi-Ho Cheerio” again. Because I love my grandchildren, I lay my preference aside for their benefit. While I may not be excited about the game, I am thoroughly involved in building relationship.
Choose your battles. When you do engage, stick with the issue at hand. Do not ambush with a “stack attack”. Bringing up past transgressions as evidence for present conflict does nothing to solve bring resolution. State your position but have no point to prove. Use “I” statements. Communicate from your view.
Choose your attitude. Never take the position “I am right and you are wrong.” Be open to the fact that you could be wrong. Even if right in facts, could be wrong in attitude. Let your words be seasoned with grace. There is a difference in an answer and a comeback. A comeback engenders strife whereas an answer gives or asks for information.
Take comments seriously, but not personally. Take yourself out of the middle; be objective. Focus on the problem, not the personality. When do you want to know that the boat won’t float? There may be genuine value in the information given. Leave the emotions behind. Listen to the words rather than presumed hidden agenda. If the encounter turns ugly, back off, take the high road by choosing to not be offended.
Participate in the wonderful dance of life. For the sake of relationship, agree to disagree while continuing to hold the person in high regard. Know when to let go. Choose to flow. As my jitterbugging arthritic friend proclaimed, “You can’t be uptight when you’re dancing.”
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