Want to know how to handle conflict and communicate effectively? Here are ten ways to handle a charged disagreement, get your point across and keep your relationships solid:
- Geography — immediately go to another room, outside, or different location.
Move, move, move. Leave the original stress scene behind!
- Remember behavior is not the person. They are separate. How people behave is not who they are.
- Listen, listen, listen, listen, listen, listen, listen, listen, listen.
- Your tone of voice is everything. Raise it and you raise your partner’s defenses and add hours to the upset, not to mention hurt feelings. Speak softly and clearly without anger….even if your parents didn’t.
- Never bring up the past.
- Sometimes (actually, many times), an argument is triggered by an event, unrelated to the real upset. Great question to ask: “What else is the matter?”
- Instead of criticizing, ask for what you want.
When your partner criticizes, ask “what do you need?”
- Kick out judgment…… and you kick out 99% of your arguments. That means kicking out that need to be right. Real strength is knowing you are right… and not telling the other person.
- Do not surrender just so that the conflict will go away.
- Perspective. Remember that you are healthy, above ground, and better off than most of the world. Being grateful helps arguments end faster.