Our Home Office was recently graced with a visit from N2’s Care Team leader, David Clyde. The go-to guy for help and advice on emotional care (anxiety, depression, marriage, you name it), “DC” gathered everyone together for our bi-weekly Lunch and Learn to present on the topic of conflict resolution. What he shared was too good to keep to ourselves, so below is an overview of DC’s thoughts on what causes conflict and how to resolve it.
P.S. For the most accurate experience, be sure to read this post in a thick Irish accent!
IF YOU WANT PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE, EXPECT CONFLICT.
Unless you move somewhere with a population of zero, conflict will come your way. It’s not something we can easily escape.
Think about the last time you were in a conflict with someone. When asked the reason for it, you may have responded with if he would only…, or she has no respect for…, or if they could just… But, here’s the thing: your biggest problem in conflict is not the other person – it’s you.
Our heart desires certain things – peace, comfort, control, approval, etc. – and when we don’t get those things from people, the negative feelings from unmet needs come out. The people we are in conflict with are simply instruments that expose what is already within us.
HOW DO WE RESOLVE CONFLICT IF OUR HEART IS THE PROBLEM?
The solution always depends on the diagnosis. Common “solutions” include avoiding the person (which will work so long as you can avoid them and if they aren’t your wife or kids!), compromising (which is fine until someone doesn’t follow through on their commitment), or seeking mediation from a third party (which will work for each individual conflict, but then you will need mediation again and again).
But because conflict is a “heart problem,” then the solution has to be a heart solution, not a symptomatic solution. So, what steps do we take for a heart solution?
OFTEN, CONFLICT IS A BATTLE BETWEEN PRIDE AND HUMILITY.
While pride makes you more aware of other people’s faults over your own, humility makes you more aware of your own faults. While pride weakens or kills relationships, humility strengthens and builds them. So, there are dangers of not addressing your heart and pride first. No matter what, you will still experience conflict. We have no choice in that. Where you do have a choice is how you will resolve it.
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