We all have moments of frustration whether they be associated with a friend, a family member, or a disagreement in your everyday life, but there are several positive strategies to utilize when it comes to dealing with conflict. Ralph G. Kuechle, Ph. D., is a clinical psychologist who provides family conflict therapy in Newport Beach, CA.
What qualifies as a conflict?
According to the Office of Human Resource Development at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, conflict is understood by analyzing various family behavior disorders and the consequences each behavior produces on individuals living the dilemma.
- Avoidance: This is the person who wishes to ignore the problem and will allow it to dissipate or squander. Unfortunately, quite the contrary is happening in this situation. The problem then swells under the surface until it’s no longer avoidable and will need to be addressed.
- Standing your Ground: People who use this technique may appear controlling and aggressive in their means of communication. They fear not having their needs met if they don’t set the rules and direct the conversation.
- Surrendering: Often perceived as the diplomat, the person using this tactic concedes to the needs of others. They place the needs and opinions of others on their own because preserving the relationship(s) is the ultimate goal.
- Compromise/Sacrifice: This method is a sort of concession and, while it seems to be a good route to take, it’s not the best approach. People in this category make a sequence of tradeoffs which means they are focusing on what they want as opposed to understanding the other’s viewpoint.
- Collaborate: People who practice collaboration care about win-win solutions. This simply means that they scout common aspirations and needs, to where every party knows their opinions and feeling are important and are going to be heard. This style needs a lot of cooperation, assertiveness and communication among the parties.
Ultimately, understanding your wants and needs as well as your behavior patterns will establish internal insight. You will have a better understanding for not just yourself, but for others around you and how situations may or may not unfold. This knowledge will give you the preliminary tools for conflict resolution.