The ego sees duality everywhere it looks. This division causes differences of opinion, disagreements, and disputes. Social conflicts can arise from our affiliations, beliefs, and our life experiences. Knowing ways to overcome these interpersonal struggles effectively decreases stress, helps us work more efficiently, and allows for better communication and understanding.
The ability to resolve disputes through conflict resolution refers to how people work towards a solution to an issue they are approaching differently. This situation has deteriorated where it needs to be dealt with as the parties are at odds and the circumstances are adversely affecting others. The individuals are working towards agreeing on a middle ground where their side was heard. A path forward can be determined together.
Are we allowing the egoic mind to determine how we approach a disagreement? Are we out to win at all costs because our pride is on the line? Or are we looking for the best solution to the situation at hand? Suppose we are authentically concerned about the people involved and want the best outcome. In that case, we need to learn how to overcome conflicts before they escalate.
Every conflict we face in life is rich with positive and negative potential. It can be a source of inspiration, enlightenment, learning, transformation, growth-or rage, fear, shame, entrapment, and resistance. The choice is not up to our opponents but to us and our willingness to face and work through them. ~ Kenneth Cloke
Why Are We Conflicted?
None of us are born with hate or fear in our hearts. We learn both behaviors during our domestication process when we are children. These egoic reactions become habitual as we don’t evaluate or question the beliefs they taught us in childhood.
Disagreements arise from the egoic mind believing it’s separate and unconnected to others. We know this is a lie it uses to keep us from getting our feelings hurt or not taking the chance to create the life we desire. These disputes arise from old belief systems to which the ego stays attached despite if it’s harming us.
So, when we gather with those who believe differently from us or their life experience has given them an alternative opinion than our own, the ego wants to debate. It wants to defend our position and prove we are right and they are wrong. The ego is looking to blame, shame, and judge others for their way of thinking, which is unlike ours.
Our thoughts are just that, thoughts, ideas, and notions our egoic mind spins based on our environment. Just because another thinks differently than us doesn’t mean they are wrong or that our thought process is correct.
The mark of a superior mind is the ability to disagree without being disagreeable. This effect is accomplished by listening to the other with the goal of understanding why they think as they do. Understanding means we are willing to see from their perspective, but not necessarily changing our views.
Don’t find fault. Find a remedy. ~ Henry Ford
How Are We Dealing With Conflicts?
When the ego sees we have a dispute, it chooses one of two paths. It either avoids the situation, or it fights. Fight or flight is a natural reaction to adverse situations. With avoidance, we may pretend there isn’t a problem. It’s easy to implement and maybe a default we use, primarily if this strategy has worked in the past. When we don’t deal with an issue, and it resolves itself, the egoic mind may continue to use this as a way to handle things it doesn’t want to deal with.
When the ego fights, it does so not because it wants the best result but that it’s protecting its viewpoint and is looking to win the argument. This disagreement becomes an issue to the ego of proving it right, even at the expense of the most effective solution.
Are we approaching the conflict with wanting the best resolution? If so, we are looking for either collaboration or compromise from the disputing parties. If those involved can work together and solve the issue, this is a win-win for everyone. Through cooperation, those involved must learn to listen, understand, and solve the problem together.
Resolving conflict through compromise means that everyone wins something, but not everything. Each side agrees to give up a little of what it wants to have a practical solution that leads to a more harmonious environment. These results can help build better relationships, leading to a more peaceful interaction in the future.
For peace is a process – a way of solving problems. ~ John F. Kennedy
Ways to Reduce Disputes
Here are some tools you can use to help lessen miscommunication and conflicts.
- Don’t get defensive. If we allow the egoic mind to debate the issue, we no longer have an open mind about the conversation. We’re out for the win instead of trying to understand the other person’s perspective. It’s not about agreeing with them. It’s about respecting them enough to listen to what they have to say.
- Don’t blame. When we’re protective of our position, we’ll blame others instead of taking responsibility for our part in the dialogue when emotions intensify. We want everyone to feel safe when they voice their opinions with us. Speak from the “I” perspective. When we say “you” this, and “you” that, we come across as accusatory.
- Listen to the other person. Active listening means we hear the other person and aren’t trying to formulate our replies while they are speaking. Then repeat back to them what we understood, they said. This repetition allows them to correct something we’ve misheard or didn’t comprehend. Listening also means we’re considerate, assessing non-verbal cues, and aren’t interrupting.
- Use a calming tone when speaking. Don’t allow our feelings to escalate the discussion by getting emotional. Whether it’s anger or tears, when emotions rise, rational thinking goes astray. By remaining level-headed, we show the other we’re looking for a solution that appeases both parties.
- Exhibit commitment to compromise. Let go of the ego’s prideful attitude and let the other person know that a resolution is more important to us than being right and getting our way. Remember, we all want a solution that’s amenable to both parties. It’s not about who gets their way or trying to get the other person to agree with us.
- Don’t take the debate personally. Almost every dispute isn’t about us as individuals. Therefore, we shouldn’t think someone is attacking us. That’s an egoic thought. Clinging to the point of view or idea doesn’t mean the thought is us, even though we may have conceived the notion. This attachment to the thought causes us to get defensive instead of looking for the best resolution.
- Focus on the present issue. Don’t bring up past conflicts, even if they haven’t been resolved. Bringing up the past doesn’t improve the current issue. It may exasperate the situation. Stay in the present moment and focus on the current set of circumstances.
- Help destress the situation. Whether through laughter or a friendly gesture, loosening up an intensified situation helps everyone present. This relaxation reminds us we all want the best solution to the issue, and our relationship with one another is valuable to us.
Conflict is drama, and how people deal with conflict shows you the kind of people they are. ~ Stephen Moyer
Responding with Love Brings Peace
When we remove the egoic mind from our conflicts, we allow our hearts to bring a loving response to the situation. The ego reacts to disagreements with aggression, retaliation, and drama. It does this because it doubts itself, mistrusts the other party, and is selfish in its needs to be above all else. Wanting an eye for an eye resolves nothing.
When there’s conflict, we become aware that someone has an alternative perspective to our current belief. When we approach this argument, our attitude determines if we will harm or help our relationship with those we disagree. Our discussion to resolve the situation allows us to expand our knowledge of the subject. We gain understanding in a different way than we previously had and have more empathy for the other person.
When we have tough conversations with others, we must show them respect. We need to be trusting that they, too, want to resolve the conflict for all parties. When we approach others with love, miracles happen.
By responding with love to conflicts, we allow the soul to whisper ways in which peace can rise. It opens us up for acceptance, friendship, and forgiveness. And when we consciously choose to approach disputes from a loving perspective, the result is growth for all involved.
Two conflicting forces cannot exist in one human heart. When doubt reigns, faith cannot abide. Where hatred rules, love is crowded out. Where selfishness rules, there love cannot dwell. When worry is present, trust cannot crowd its way in. ~ Billy Graham
Moving Forward Lovingly
When we let go of the idea that we want to control others’ actions, conflict resolution can occur. The ego wants to convince another to do as we wish, change their minds, agree with us, or give up the debate. It wants to be right—it wants to win.
But a disagreement isn’t a competition. Disputes can be serious issues that have a significant impact on people’s lives. Our egos shouldn’t be involved when the decisions we are making affect the lives of others.
Instead, let our souls whisper to us how to make genuine connections with those who have differing opinions. By allowing these bonds to form, we permit the miracle of peace to rise from within each of us. By respecting one another, seeing the compassion we all have for humanity, we can allow diversity through our loving responses.
If we cannot end our differences, at least we can make the world safe for diversity. ~ John F. Kennedy
Do you need support to help you resolve conflicts with others? Do you want a strategy to help you overcome the ego’s limiting beliefs and live a successful life? If so, please reach out to me at TerriKozlowski.com, and we can put together an action plan for you to create the life you desire.
Please check out my book, Raven Transcending Fear, now available on Amazon! The link is in the show notes, or you can go to www.RavenTranscendingFear.com!