A client recently asked me for some strategies to engage in conflict without appearing angry. As I’ve said in previous articles, it’s no secret that most people fear conflict and will go to great lengths to avoid it. Managing our anger can be challenging at times. Most people either become defensive or worse, they’re boiling internally while trying to appear calm. Skilled mediators develop practical strategies to avoid being pulled into the emotional whirlpool of our clients’ conflicts.
Very few of us engage in conflicts with confidence and ease. In fact, most people fear conflict. Conflict avoiders are all around us. So are conflict magnets, or people who seem to thrive on drama and conflict. They don’t stir things up because they enjoy conflict. Typically, they’re not skilled at engaging appropriately in conflict, and internal triggers fuel actions that inflame conflicts. Conflict isn’t typically in anyone’s comfort zone, but there are strategies to help us be more resilient in conflicts.
My kind and patient husband and I continue to learn each other’s love languages, the constant care and feeding of one another, how we each deal with stress, etc. This was a busy week for us both. We were gone last weekend and leaving town again this weekend. Between clients, I’m running errands for my business as well as my personal life. Scheduling appointments, painting a bedroom, planning travel, managing my staff, running to meetings, and so on, is exasperating. Stressed, exhausted and under pressure, I catch myself straying from the advice I give clients on how to manage stress-related conflict. I used to think love alone was the key to successful relationships, but I’ve changed my mind. It starts with three little words.