Friends are one of our greatest assets and a critical component of the human experience. Any reflection of our history will include those friends that walked the road by our side. The faces and memories flash before our mind's eye, like flipping through a Classic ViewMaster.
What happens when disagreements arise and escalate to conflict? Conflict is part of the human condition, no need to shy away from the reality. It is safe here.
In Managing Conflict Through Communication, authors Dudley D. Cahn and Ruth Anna Abigail, explain the resolution phase will end in one of two orientations; either resolution or management. When a resolution has occurred, both parties are satisfied. Dissatisfied and risk of the issue resurfacing are characteristics of a management orientation.
Do you typically resolve or manage your conflicts? I have been working at my ability to bring a conflict to a resolution. To be clear, this does not imply arrival or perfection. Several factors have been at work to spur this growth.
Brene Brown's work on vulnerability has been helpful to recognize what I am thinking and feeling, and what recordings are playing in my mind. Laziness has been another factor in resolving conflict. Yeah, one-time laziness is good. It takes so much energy to stay angry and hold a grudge, I just don't have it. I want to use my limited resources and strength to concentrate on things that matter for good.
Conflict is a two-party affair, but evaluating what I bring to the battle has been helpful; while assuming the friend has their issues to work through.
Once I have taken the time to understand what I desired, but did not get; I am on a path to resolving things. Did I want to be heard, respected, to be found correct, or did I perceive that my rights were violated? What was it that I really wanted? Was the other party in a position to listen? How can I communicate my desires to the other person, it a manner they will adequately hear?
How have you grown in your ability to resolve conflicts? What tactics do you use to prevent conflicts? Do you have any unresolved conflicts with friends; what steps can you take to bring the dispute to a resolution? Do you have hope for reconciliation? What friendship became stronger after resolving a conflict?
Photo: Little Chapel in the Woods, Texas Women's University, Denton Texas.