There are many things in the world we don’t have control over. One such thing is conflict.
We see conflicts everywhere. People disagree over innumerable and different things. Couples quarrel because they have love issues. Parents disagree because they have a lot of daily responsibilities to fulfill but not enough time, which makes them feel stressed. When children become teenagers, they start conflicting with their parents and everybody else. Most of us get into arguments because we defend our views and have different opinions on what’s good and right and what’s bad and wrong.
Even the calmest and most unflappable person can get involved in a conflict. It’s simply something that can’t be avoided.
Yet, just because conflicts are inevitable, it doesn’t mean you have to act angrily, thoughtlessly or violently. Dealing with a difficult situation in any of these ways won’t make your dissatisfaction or anger reduce. When you react imprudently, your mind gets blocked and you’re unable to think clearly and make good decisions.
Moreover, I’m sure you wouldn’t like to let some heated discussion upset you or even ruin your day.
So, what we have to do is learn how to control our reactions whenever we find ourselves in conflict. We need to learn how to stay calm and react rationally.
Emotionally intelligent people know how to override their reactions when they’re in conflict. They know how to recognize and handle their own negative emotions and how to subdue anger in other people. They also know how to withstand the pressure every conflict creates.
Psychologists say that there are very useful and practical ways in which conflicts can be resolved effectively.
In what follows there are 7 very useful tips which can help you to remain calm in conflict:
1. Don’t raise your voice.
Although it comes naturally to us to raise the voice when we conflict with somebody, shouting won’t make the whole situation more bearable. The reason for this is that the volume of our voice is connected to the blood pressure and when the latter reaches a certain point we can’t clearly understand what the other person is saying to us.
Tip: Lower the volume of your voice and you will look calm. This will prevent the other person from shouting too.
2. Don’t bring up other issues.
If you think that you can find a solution to all problems, including past ones, in one conflict, trust me, you’re wrong. There’s no point bringing up some past issues that you haven’t still got rid off. They’ve waited to be solved so far and they can continue doing so until you reach a resolution to a more important issue of yours.
Tip: Decide what the main issue is and what you want to achieve. Then, focus on solving only that issue.
3. Listen carefully.
I’m sure if you know that the person you’re talking to isn’t listening to you, it will piss you off. Similarly, you easily get annoyed if someone interrupts you while you’re still talking.
Tip: Try to focus more and listen attentively to the person who is talking and don’t let anything distract you. In this way, you’ll understand better what they’re telling you and you’ll be more prepared to react appropriately.
4. Focus on your body posture.
When you’re in conflict with someone, your body reacts too. It gets tense, the breathing becomes shallow and your heart starts beating faster. You have to focus on your bodily movements so that you can consciously change them.
Tip: Put your body in a neutral position and relax your hands and shoulders. The other person will see this and know that you don’t have any negative emotions.
5. Breathe deeply.
A good way to stay calm and relaxed in a conflict is if you control your breathing. When you argue with someone, your body reacts by shallow breathing and this reveals that you’re irritated, and the conflict can further escalate.
Tip: Try to smoothly and deeply inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. Repeat this several times rhythmically. This will reduce your stress levels for sure.
6. Disengage from the confrontation.
You can’t expect to get what you want in every conflict. Often times, you won’t be happy with the results. If you don’t want to prolong the conflict and make it more difficult, you’ll have to agree to disagree.
Tip: If you can’t reach a mutual agreement, the best solution is to disengage from the confrontation politely and move on.
7. Use open-ended questions.
If you don’t want to put the other person in a defensive position and you want to give them space to express their opinions and views, make sure you ask them open-ended questions. In this way, you’ll show that you don’t just ignore their ideas and comments but you take them into consideration.
Tip: Don’t use questions which require the answers “Yes” and “No.” Instead of this, use questions which begin with the question words, such as “When,” “Why,” “What,” and “How.” This will make the other person realize that you aren’t just arguing for the sake of it but you want to reach a resolution to the conflict.