While out and about doing errands, I overheard a quarrelling couple in the same aisle as me. While I was listening in on the conversation, I found myself wondering, “Do I treat and react like that in my relationships?” upon my return home. I’m well aware that no human being is without flaw; I, for one, have been known to lash out when I’ve been frustrated or angry, without giving a second’s thought to my surroundings or the people within earshot. Because of my tendency to overanalyze situations, I penned a list of simple solutions that would help people diffuse conflict without making anyone feel bad about themselves.
The tone of your conversation
It’s important to make sure your tone doesn’t come across as hostile or accusatory, even if you’re feeling angry. Every interaction can be managed better if you make an effort to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. You won’t find common ground if you go into the meeting only to argue your side and assign blame. Allowing the other person to finish speaking before responding will foster feelings of appreciation, being heard, and understanding on both sides.
Direct and Unambiguous Expression
How many of you still wish the person you’re talking to would understand what you’re trying to say? If this describes you, then you are preventing effective dialogue. You must have a firm grasp on your own desires before you can effectively express them to others.
Judgment of others and circumstances reveals nothing about them, but rather about you. Don’t just hear what’s being said; put yourself in their shoes and consider how you’d react if someone said what you’re about to say.
Accepting that you have no influence over other people or the events that occur in their lives is the first step toward improving your relationships with them. A positive self-image is formed when one stops trying to manipulate external factors and instead concentrates on oneself and the things one could be doing. When you stop being so nitpicky and critical, the other person is forced to confront the consequences of their actions and words, which may lead to a resolution of the problem.
Regulating your feelings
You should pause for thought before acting. This “oh so simple” act is actually quite difficult for many people, despite its apparent simplicity. Reviewing your thoughts and feelings gives you the opportunity to examine the roots of your feelings and, with any luck, alter how you react. You can do less damage to the situation, the other person, and yourself when you respond to your emotions in a more reflective manner.
This is the age-old old expression that goes something like, “If you can’t prove it, don’t assume it.” You and I will only end up looking foolish if we assume anything.
When you feel your temper rising, take three deep breaths and calm down. After you’ve taken a few deep breaths, try to maintain your composure and emotional awareness; if you feel the need to react, do so calmly. Consider this your challenge: commit to putting these suggestions into practise in each of your relationships for a full month and seeing if that helps. If so, try taking the challenge yourself and using it to strengthen your relationships with those around you. Be patient with yourself and others as you learn this skill; it is something you will always need to pay attention to.