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Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Frozen in Conflict? 10 Ways to Thaw the Tension

ID-100160816The hit movie Frozen includes a plot line of  sisters avoiding conflict. But does a conceal versus reveal approach to conflict pay off in real life?

Not really.

Now that we are all singing, “Let it Go” in our heads, there are ways to thaw the tension, before you can let a conflict go. This requires going back into the disagreement, not avoiding it.

So if you are frozen in an argument or difference of opinion, don’t avoid. Revisit the problem and try to work it through. See if these guidelines will help:

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1) Choose a time when both of you are calm and work on staying calm during the dialogue. You can’t think well when you are too emotionally aroused. So take deep breaths and work on relaxing your body.

2) Identify the points of difference. Be specific and keep it behaviorally descriptive.

3) Then talk about the meaning behind each of your differences. Why do you feel so strongly? What does this point of difference mean to you? Sometimes understanding the why behind a position makes it easier to negotiate.

4) Look for any points of compromise.

5) If there are no compromises, can one of you accommodate the other?

6) If no, then can you come up with an alternative plan?

7) If you are still at a deadlock, you either need more conversation related to how this affects your beliefs, or decide to agree to disagree and don’t make this an on-going point of contention.

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8) End the discussion with being respectful and be kind to each other. Conflict that isn’t resolved doesn’t wreak relationships. It’s how you talk to each other about your differences that matters.

9) If you have been angry, hurtful or overly critical, apologize and forgive.

10) If this is an issue that must be resolved, take the matter to prayer and seek counsel from others or a professional.

 

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