Dealing With Conflict

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Often when we find ourselves in a conflict we can become defensive and defiant, or even dismissive, holding fast to our convictions. We try to convince others of the validity of our beliefs or try to force others to our way of thinking. But by doing this we are missing out on an opportunity to learn. If we instead choose to stop and listen we can learn something new, whether it be about another’s feelings or beliefs, opinions or experience. Instead of taking things personally or getting defensive try to adopt a neutral mind-set and resist the temptation to interrupt. Rather than trying to convince others about your beliefs, try letting go of the need to assert your will and listen with curiosity. Likewise, if you feel that others are trying to influence you, simply step back from the situation and refuse to be pulled into conflict. While mastering this type of mind-set can be challenging, it can also be rewarding because it will give you a greater sense of control over your moods. 

We all project our experience, ideas, opinions, feelings and values plus our insecurities and flaws onto the world. This can make someone with an opposite viewpoint seem misinformed or misguided. But they are simply projecting their truth, creating their reality so not necessarily wrong, just different. So when listening to an opposing viewpoint try to detach from your core beliefs and simply listen and process. 

By fostering a mind-set of detachment you can remain neutral and calm. While it can be tempting to engage in a battle of wills with those who have differing opinions and beliefs, it is counterproductive and often leads to feeling overwhelmed with negative emotions such as frustration and resentment. If we can instead learn to detach and focus on staying centred, we can navigate tense situations from a place of calm. We are then able to find neutral ground and interact with others in more productive ways. By detaching from emotional responses and avoiding conflict, you can be true to yourself while allowing others to speak their truth.

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