We generally find conflict whenever there’s a clash of differing perspectives accompanied by strong emotions. Conflict is inevitable in any relationship, whether with a romantic partner, friend, sibling, colleague, or co-worker.
As common as conflicts are, it’s just as common to want to avoid them. After all, conflicts can often be fraught with uncertainty, anxiety, and discomfort. Yet ironically, the way we handle conflict is what defines the quality of our relationships. You might therefore look at conflict as an opportunity to deepen and strengthen your personal and professional relationships.
What I’ve learned is that for relationships to be truly successful, it is important to be able to humbly let go of the need to always be right. If we always need to be right, we make the other person wrong. And that doesn’t bode well for any relationship.
If you stay focused on making a case for how wrong the other person is, you’re discounting their feelings, which only makes things worse. You might remember that there’s not always a “right” or “wrong” way of seeing things. Both perspectives can be valid because they are each shaped by our own personal experiences and beliefs. It’s also important to keep in mind that we all come from a unique perspective.
You might try being open to listening to the other person, just as you want them to listen to you. Listening takes patience. It’s being able to put aside our immediate emotional reactions and quieting the impulse to speak up and interrupt and fully take another perspective in. This can go a long way to seeing things from the other person’s perspective, which in turn helps them see things from yours as well.
When relationship conflict inevitably arises, you might make it your intention for mutual understanding and resolution that respects everyone’s needs. This approach can invariably lead to creative solutions you might not have otherwise considered.
Ignoring conflicts can lead to lasting resentment that can build up over time. Ultimately, it can lead to the end of a relationship. Instead, the more we expose ourselves to conflict, the more adept we can become at fostering strong relationships, both in business and at home.
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