Whether it’s a conflict over family get-togethers, sibling rivalry, child discipline, finances, jobs, or in-laws, there are ways to do it without all-out fights. Here’s how:
1. Cool off. When everybody’s emotions are high, conflicts can’t be resolved - they can only be escalated. Take a walk, count to 10, or excuse yourself to the bathroom. It’s an opportunity to choose your response rather than just react.
2. Don’t be incriminating. Starting out with, “You did/didn’t ______!”, only makes the other person want to fire back. Instead, say something like, “I thought we agreed that you would clean up the kitchen.” You are conveying the same information, but it’s done with less ferocity. Remember, your mentality should be “us against the world”, not “us against each other.”
3. Hear the other person out. Sit down and ask the other person to state his or her point of view and feelings. It’s amazing how people calm down when they’re heard all the way out without interruptions or comments.
4. Own your part. There’s barely ever a conflict where both parties don’t have some degree of responsibility.
5. Try to find a win-win solution. If two kids are fighting over toys, you sit them down and come up with five ways to solve the problem so nobody is upset. The same goes for adults. Try to develop a solution that allows both people to win.
6. Let it go. Sometimes you just have to agree to disagree, and do it without hostility.