If it was up to our brain to decide, we would be the most important person of every story. Most often this interpretation is, however, wrong. It is a good idea to have a reality check by telling your version of the story and asking, how the other person sees it.
Within every conflict there’s a possibility for growth
It’s easy to be a good team player on days when everybody is happy. It takes a whole lotta more talent to be a good team player on other days, when opinions, goals and personalities clash. However, each argument, conflict and difficult situation contains a possibility to develop as a human being.
These situations feel uneasy at first. We have a tendency to avoid discomfort, fear and rejection. In addition to that, most of us have been brought up to believe one should not argue. No wonder we would like to circle around difficult topics and put out any potential conflict as fast as possible. But that is not a sustainable way of dealing with things.
Not all arguments are necessary. I want to help you to recognize the ones that are. I want to provide you with tools to withstand and endure difficult situations and deal with challenging people. What is good argument like? How can you disagree in a constructive manner? How to find the growth within the conflict?
Start with these
It is actually possible that your boss, team leader, colleague and spouse have no idea what kind of damage they produce if they interrupt you in the middle of your work. Tell it to them!
When I’m wasting my breath complaining of something, my loved ones look at me gently and ask: “Elisa, what else could that mean?” It is irritating. But it works.
If you were a hostage negotiator and you would be sitting around a table waiting intently for a phone to ring, in what position would you be sitting?
If the other person clearly would need advice, but for one reason or another won’t ask for them, there’s a magical trick you can perform: ask permission to give advice.
We blame to ease our discomfort and pain. In those situations innocent people might get yelled at about non-related things without any fault.
Conflict is a slightly sturdy word but in this article I mean every situation where two people face each other disagreeing about a thing, a situation or an opinion.
I’ve been a very good human being this year. Which is why I’m asking for a little Christmas present. Would you be so kind and reply to this short questionnaire.
Our family members are masters at giving us feedback. Some of it is blunt, some less obvious, some has a point and some is downright outrageous. When you feel yourself getting tense and irritated, it is a perfect opportunity to investigate your feedback triggers.
It is easy to hide behind the statement that “this is just who I am”. It is important to understand the characteristics of your personality, but it’s not useful to build a fortress with them.
These too are worth your while
We want to keep our worldview. If we’re presented with facts that argue against our core beliefs, instead of changing our core beliefs we become angry, defensive or even aggressive. This batshit-f*cking-bonkers behaviour* has a scientific name called the backfire effect. Read all about it from this brilliant comic.
* The Oatmeal’s terminology, not mine.
The Arbinger Institute, 2009
I’m right and others are mostly wrong. I’m hard-working and do things right, others are lazy and do a poor job. I cannot trust anything to others, I’ll do it better myself anyway. People simply don’t appreciate enough what I do for them. If any of these sentences is a recurrent thought in your head, read this book. Preferably right now and repeat every second year or so.