Family by Shiny Things
We all go through times when our relationships with others are strained and uncertain. Whether through our own fault, the fault of the other person, or a combination of both, we need help to regain our emotional balance and solve our differences.
The bond with our family is often the hardest, as they are usually the ones who have known us the longest, and therefore understand us best; both our strengths and flaws. Connections with our coworkers and other business associates come in a close second, as problems here can lead to failure to meet deadlines and financial loss.
If you’re like me, you are always on the lookout for ideas to quickly and effectively manage your problems. It’s important to learn how to soothe hurt feelings, resolve disputes and improve your effectiveness in dealing with the issues of anger, confusion, fear and pain that result from arguments, disagreements and misunderstandings.
Here is a list of some tips that can help:
- Communicate. The best way to get to the root of the problem is to share your feelings. There are a variety of ways to do this. Try writing a letter, calling them on the phone, meeting with an impartial 3rd party, or use a timer to make sure that each side gets to speak uninterrupted.
- Explain things. Often one of our main problems in rectifying our disagreements is that we have not fully gotten our point across to the other person. Make sure you clearly explain what is bothering you. You might try saying “When you do this behavior _____, I feel _____.
- Listen more. While you are communicating and explaining, make sure you listen to the other person’s response. This is actually hard to do. I sometimes catch myself thinking “Here we go again, will it be their busy lifestyle or stress at work that’s the excuse this time?” Clear your mind and listen fully. Take notes if you need to, so that you can write down what they actually said and not what you think you heard.
- Ask for advice. Sometimes we just need a different perspective. Ask a friend, another colleague, or someone unaffected by the outcome what they would do in this situation. Often they will have insights you have missed while your emotions are running high.
- Take a break. Before speaking to the person, take some time for yourself. Relax with some music, read some humor, walk around the block, or meditate in silence for 10 minutes. When you are calmer you will be more receptive to other points of view and less apt to be defensive.
- Try to compromise. Find the middle ground. What can you both agree on? What is your common goal? If each of you concedes a bit in areas you are willing to negotiate, you’ll be more likely to find a solution you both enjoy.
- Ignore it. For a day, a week, or just an hour. Let the issue go, don’t fuss or complain about what is bothering you. Give it a little time and see what happens. Also, think about whether the same thing would bother you if someone else did it to you? Sometimes our troubles are not as great as they seem and we just need a little space to forgive and forget.
- Take action. Don’t just sit back and watch things happen. Make a list of things you can do to make changes right now – and then do them. By taking action, you get out of the victim role and become empowered. By changing your attitude and behavior, you actions will show you are committed to a healthy and peaceful relationship.