Conflict – Maybe YOU Are the Problem

By A.I. Adrinfo, Edited by Doug Katz – 04/03/23

Conflict is a natural part of human relationships. It can happen in any setting – from personal to professional to community. While it is easy to place the blame on the other person, it is essential to realize that we might also be contributing to the conflict. Therefore, it is crucial to be self-aware and take responsibility for our part in resolving conflicts. In this article, we’ll delve deeper into what you can do to ensure that you are not the one standing in the way of resolving a conflict during a mediation.

Before even considering how you are going to solve the conflict, it is important to engage in self-reflection to evaluate your role in the creation of the disagreement and continuance of the conflict. It’s easy to blame the other person for their behavior, but it takes a great deal of courage to examine your own actions and behavior. Ask yourself questions like “How did I contribute to this conflict?” and “What could I have done differently to avoid this conflict?”.

Here are some other great questions to ask yourself:

  • Have I been communicating my needs effectively?
  • Am I overreacting to the situation?
  • Have I been actively listening to the other person’s perspective?

Active and productive listening is also key to resolving conflicts. During mediation or any resolution method, it’s essential to both listen actively to the other person’s perspective and strive to fully understand their position.  This does not mean that you need to agree but rather simply understand their perspective.. It’s natural to become defensive when we feel attacked or criticized, but that will only escalate the conflict. Instead, actively listen to the other person’s concerns and try to understand their point of view. It’s important to acknowledge their feelings and validate their experiences, even if you don’t agree with them.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Have I been interrupting the other person when they are speaking?
  • Am I trying to understand their perspective, or am I just waiting for my turn to speak?
  • Have I been acknowledging the other person’s feelings and experiences?

Expressing yourself objectively and avoiding miscommunication by selecting how you speak and act are other critical aspects of your successful engagement during conflict. Aggressive or defensive language or even posture that communicates a closed mind only intensifies the conflict. Instead, use “I” statements to express your feelings and concerns. For example, instead of saying, “You’re wrong,” say, “I feel hurt when you speak to me like that.” This approach helps to keep the conversation focused on the issue at hand and avoids personal attacks.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Have I been using aggressive language?
  • Am I expressing my feelings and concerns clearly?
  • Have I been focusing on the issue at hand, or have I been making personal attacks?

You should always prepare yourself for the reality there may not be a clear winner or loser. In these cases, it’s essential to be willing to compromise. Compromise doesn’t mean giving up your beliefs or values, but rather finding a middle ground that works for everyone involved. It is also, in most cases, the best outcome for both participants in a conflict.  Too many people storm into the breach again and again expending good financial and emotional resources after bad with less options and worse overall outcomes, especially when the courts become involved. It’s important to keep in mind that both parties should be willing to make some concessions to resolve the conflict.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Have I been open to finding a solution that works for both parties?
  • Am I making unreasonable demands?
  • Have I been willing to make concessions to resolve the conflict?

By engaging in self-reflection, active listening, effective communication, and compromise, you can ensure that you are not the one standing in the way of resolving conflicts. Remember that resolving conflicts is not about winning or losing but finding a solution that works for everyone involved.

In conclusion, taking responsibility for our actions and behaviors is crucial in resolving conflicts. When we engage in self-reflection, actively listen to the other person’s perspective, communicate effectively, and are willing to compromise, we can work towards a more positive outcome, leading to better relationships and a more peaceful existence.

Disclaimer: This article was created with the assistance of multiple ChatGPT AI language models and has been edited and refined by Douglas Katz. The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as professional or expert advice. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of ChatGPT or OpenAI. Readers are advised to do their own research and consult with relevant experts before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article.