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Healthy Ways to Deal With Conflict

By Len Canter
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Nov. 27, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Almost every relationship will be affected by conflict at some point.

Whether it's with a spouse or a child, a co-worker or friend, there are healthy ways to address and resolve these problems, according to experts at the University of Texas at Austin Counseling and Mental Health Center.

Differences of opinion are usually at the root of conflict. These might be about values, perceptions or concrete concepts, from how to give a presentation at work to differing parenting techniques.

Conflict can ruin personal as well as business relationships, so knowing how to resolve differences is an important life skill. It starts with accepting that the other person's point of view is legitimate and being willing to discuss your differences in an open, non-judgmental way with the goal of problem solving, and not to determine a winner and a loser.

4 keys to resolving conflict:

  • Recognize and address important differences -- don't bury or stew over them.
  • Be able to "forgive and forget."
  • Compromise without retribution.
  • Accept that a resolution can accommodate both people.

How to put these into action?

Your approach matters: Try to stay calm and focus on the specific problem, not those five other things that have been bothering you. Acknowledge your emotions, but don't let them dictate the conversation. Be aware of any negative body language you're showing, such as avoiding eye contact, a negative facial expression, a harsh tone of voice or angry posture. Think about it: Crossed arms don't convey open-mindedness. A caring tone and using humor can help diffuse tension as you start to talk.

Be specific as you use words to reframe the situation and honestly express your feelings without anger or other emotions. Then do the most important thing: Listen to the other person's viewpoint and make sure you understand it by repeating it. Together you can find a solution.

It might be hard to believe when you're feeling angry, but if approached in a respectful way, conflict can strengthen the bond between two people.

More information

The University of Texas at Austin Counseling and Mental Health Center has numerous articles on fighting fair to resolve conflict.

Copyright © 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=738666

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
Conflict (Psychology)
Emotions
Mental Health
Counseling
Kinesics
The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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