- (EQ) skill 5: The ability to resolve conflicts positively and with confidence. Conflict and disagreements are inevitable in relationships. Two people can’t possibly have the same needs, opinions, and expectations at all times. However, that needn’t be a bad thing. Resolving conflict in healthy, constructive ways can strengthen trust between people. When conflict isn’t perceived as threatening or punishing, it fosters freedom, creativity, and safety in relationships.
The ability to manage conflicts in a positive, trust-building way is supported by the previous four skills of emotional intelligence. Once you know how to manage stress, stay emotionallypresent and aware, communicate nonverbally, and use humor and play, you’ll be better equipped to handle emotionally charged situations and catch and diffuse many issues before they escalate.
Tips for resolving conflict in a trust-building way:
- Stay focused in the present. When you are not holding on to old hurts and resentments, you can recognize the reality of a current situation and view it as a new opportunity for resolving old feelings about conflicts. Not a problem, I rarely remember situations of the past. No hurt feelings lingering however no learned skills remembered either!
- Choose your arguments. Arguments take time and energy, especially if you want to resolve them in a positive way. Consider what is worth arguing about and what is not. If I pay attention long enough to argue it’s because someone is trying to force me into their way of thinking. I argue, kick, fuss and fight when someone tries to bully me into anything.
- Forgive. Other people’s hurtful behavior is in the past. To resolve conflict, you need to give up the urge to punish or seek revenge. Elaborate revenge scenarios take place in my head. Also soon forgotten in a day or 2.
- End conflicts that can’t be resolved. It takes two people to keep an argument going. You can choose to disengage from a conflict, even if you still disagree. That’s right…if the argument lasts long enough for me to get bored with it then I am outta there, gone. Literally and physically, I remove myself from the situation.
- OK, so conflict resolutionis not my strongest ability. I either don’t care enough to want to compromise, which means I give in or give up so I can move on. If I do care about the situation enough to want to resolve it, I’m afraid it has to be my way or highway. That’s right. Compromise is not in my repertoire of what I do.
- If I care about something enough to argue and fight for it, and it holds my attention that long as well, it means it is vitally important to me and I do not let it go. Bottom line, if I don’t care about the situation I do not engage. If I engage, I must win.