7 Simple Ways To Resolve Conflict

Understanding how to deal with conflicts is important because the large majority of relationships will result in conflict - that's just how life goes. However, the good news is that there are some very simple ways to resolve them.

Attack the problem, not the person
Focusing on the problem ensures that it is dealt with as quickly as possible. Try to avoid statements such as 'you never do x' or 'you always do y' because statements like these can cause the other party to feel that you are attacking them. This will eventually lead the individual to put up a wall and become defensive.

Pick your battles
I've learned to ask myself a few questions when a disagreement crops up: is this conversation worth having or can it be avoided? Not every disagreement requires you to declare war and unleash your weapons of mass destruction. Some things, especially when trivial, are just worth overlooking.

Avoid jumping to conclusions
It is quite easy to jump to conclusions when you think you know what the other person is going to say (I am guilty of this). Take the time to genuinely listen to the other person's perspective. After all, they may be right and it is easier to listen now than to have them say 'I tried to tell you but you wouldn't listen' at a later stage.

Control your temper
While what you say is important, how you say it is even more important because a large proportion of communication is non-verbal. Truth told in annoyance has more chances of being overlooked by the recipient. Things like your body language, tone of voice and choice of words are very important when communicating your feelings.

Don't be afraid to apologise
A genuine acknowledgement of your wrongdoing not only shows that you are humble and willing to preserve the relationship, it also disarms the person you are arguing with and breaks down the walls they may have put up. In most circumstances, this would cause the other person to reflect on their own actions. It may also lead them to apologise for the part that they played in the situation.

Give up the need to be right 
When we get into a conversation to prove a point, we end up listening with the intention to respond rather than to understand the other person's perspective. Giving up the need to be right allows us to be open minded and more aware of how the other person feels.

Give yourself time to think of a solution
It's perfectly okay to give each other space to think. You may wish to arrange another time to talk about the issue in order to clear your head and calm down. This allows you to come back to the conversation with a more objective view.