Dealing with conflict can be uncomfortable at best, but it’s also a necessary part of most healthy relationships. The key is to deal with it in an effective manner to avoid long-term damage to the relationships you value most.


Natasha Silver Bell                           With that in mind we asked Life and Recovery Coach,

NSB_HeadshotNatasha Silver Bell, who has worked with countless patients over the years, to help guide us through the most important steps to remember when dealing with dissension.


1) First, pause and take time away from a heated situation to think it through. If 24 hours isn’t enough time for you to feel calm enough to return to the situation, then take a week if you need it. Saying, “Let me think about what you’re telling me,” shows the other person you are seriously trying to understand the issue, even if you know your answer will not be what they want to hear, being kind with time is best.


2) Even with time, if you know your response will not be pleasing to your partner, it doesn’t have to be delivered in a way that causes additional upset. You can say what you mean without being mean; tone and language can make a huge difference as well.


3) First, state how you see the issue from their side- it makes them feel validated. Then explain how you see it from your side and wait. This is key, be patient in the silence and see what they have to say. Don’t be too quick to react. If they continue to push back again, just listen and say, “I hear what you are saying.” Sometimes just stating your view and hearing the opposition can cause things to settle.


Some phrases that help with conflict resolution are:

I can see where you’re coming from…

I understand how important this is to you…

How about we look at it from another angle?

Do you think there is another solution we have overlooked?

How would you like to handle this?


With the last two suggestions, you are giving the power to the other party to feel in control and included in the decision. You just might be surprised at what they come up with.


4) Conflicts will not just occur once in a while, they are sometimes weekly or daily, depending on your career or lifestyle. Being consistent with the way you handle your responses to people in heated conversations will also build you respect from your colleagues, classmates, or peers. An earnest growth happens when one learns to control their reactions and turn them into thoughtful responses over time.

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