dealing with conflict

July 2, 2009 § 2 Comments

What do you do when…someone voices his unhappiness, and you feel as if s/he is blaming you.

I’ve noticed that the first thing one would usually do is to become defensive, since one’s pride is at stake.

But what good would it do? Rather, one can start by appreciating the other party’s frankness**. The reason why s/he even voiced it out rather than kept silent is because s/he wants to resolve it. Speaking from a personal point of view, I would only voice out my unhappiness if I put some value to the friendship. If I didn’t put much value to the friendship, I’ll walk away from the conflict rather than spend energy resolving it. I will feel extremely vexed if I voiced out my unhappiness, and the person only reacted in a defensive way or avoided the issue. In that situation, I will be very tempted to give up the friendship, because I feel that I cannot be the only one willing to work on it.

I guess this should be the litmus test for whether you want to continue working on the friendship, or any relationship for that matter. If the person is open and willing to listen and compromise, I’ll greatly appreciate it and work even harder at the friendship. But if the person cannot maturely discuss my concerns about the relationship, I guess I will continue treating the person as a friend, but there is a severe limit as to where we can take it.

And btw, this is one very important thing I think we should look for in a partner– whether s/he can resolve conflicts in a mature way, because come on, they’re bound to happen if you’re going to marry him/her. And in a conflict, flowers or gifts to soothe it over are not enough, haha.

OK, but that’s my point of view. I’ll appreciate others. Afterall, so many others are more experienced than I am 😉


**That said, the person voicing out his/her unhappiness should really try to be tactful. I don’t suppose a “Why are you ALWAYS  ____? You are such a $%%^#$@  ” would yield a favourable response, and s/he should not expect it to. 😛



§ 2 Responses to dealing with conflict

  • Beth says:

    Nice way to deal with conflict. Enjoyed going through your article with new ideas coming to my mind. It is really very helpful.

  • Serene says:

    Glad that you found it useful! 🙂 I realise you’re a florist? Hopefully the “flowers or gifts to soothe it over are not enough” won’t offend haha :p

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