Conflict has the potential to destroy relationships or it can be leveraged to make them stronger. Conflict can cause turmoil that sends a relationship into a tailspin or it can create traction to move a relationship forward. The result of conflict depends on whether or not we have unpacked the situation.
A conflict arises out of a disagreement or disconnect of some kind. Out of this disconnect, we become offended toward the person we are in conflict with. We start to tell ourselves stories about this person based on these offenses. These stories warp and distort our view of that person so much that we forget who they really are. We create a new false reality of that person in our minds based off of the lies we have believed about them.
Before we know it, we are far away from having healthy interactions with this person. Each conversation, story, and interaction is tainted by offense and the wedge between us widens. This is what happens when we don’t sort through conflict.
When we encounter conflict and take a step back to unpack what is really going on in the situation, the friction creates traction to move our relationships forward.
Here are five ways you can resolve conflict:
- Identify the disconnect. When, where, and how did the disconnect between you start?
- Work through offenses. What offenses have you developed toward the other person since the disconnect happened? What do you need to do to work through them?
- Own how you can grow. What can you take responsibility for in this situation? What could you have done better? How can you grow through the conflict?
- Remember who they are. What is your true heart for the other person?
- Mend the relationship. What can you do to mend the relationship and move it forward?