How to turn conflicts into opportunities

How to turn conflicts into opportunitiesWe have all, at one time or another, experienced conflict, with friends, family, children, colleagues and even with ourselves. Conflicts arise when we are unable to articulate our perspective with respect to the opinions of others and are unwilling to give in and hide behind our beliefs as if it were a wall.

In fact, in reality the most common cause of conflicts is not found in the difference in the criterion of judgment or in the motivations, but in the inability to find a common point, in the refusal to yield. Obviously, these positions produce misunderstandings, disappointments and harsh struggles.

However, conflicts are not necessarily negative, on the contrary, we can turn them into opportunities to learn, to grow as individuals and they can help us develop flexibility. Conflicts allow us to explore different perspectives and broaden our mind. They also test our social skills and help us be more empathic and assertive. Of course, to benefit from these advantages, it is important to know how to manage conflicts.

5 ideas to learn how to manage conflicts

1. Recognize and value the aspects that are important to each other. When we are in the presence of a conflict it is essential to know how to distinguish what caused this contradiction. We are not talking about the underlying problem, but about the discrepancy that prevents us from reaching an agreement. Once the true cause of the conflict has been identified, it is necessary to try to understand what is important to the other person. We must make sure that we put ourselves in his place for at least a minute, trying to take on his perspective and his values. Only in this way will it be possible to understand the extent of the problem.

2. Keep emotions in check. Emotions are a double-edged sword, because sometimes, especially when we are faced with a conflict, they play tricks on us by taking over and making us say or do inappropriate things. Therefore, learning how to manage emotions is essential to turn a conflict into an opportunity. Of course, it's not always easy to take control of your emotions and very often, it's best to put off the conversation, explaining to the other person that we're not in the best position to resolve the conflict at the moment and that it's best to postpone the matter until we will be able to face it with a more relaxed mind. Likewise, if you notice that your interlocutor is too excited, point it out and ask him to postpone the conversation.

3. Show a positive attitude and open to different solutions. Often people withdraw into their positions and do not want to hear about alternatives to those they propose. This defensive attitude only serves to ensure that your interlocutor also locks himself up in a bunker. As a result, there will be no progress. Therefore, it is better to approach a conflict with an open mind, open to dialogue and, above all, with the aim of reaching a solution that is satisfactory for both of you. Eventually, this attitude will be reflected in your actions and words and will make everything flow more easily.

4. Maximize empathy. It is not enough to rationally understand the other, it is also important to understand his motivations and feelings, especially when it comes to a conflict with a person to whom we are romantically linked. Going back in time and remembering his life experiences will surely help you understand why he has these feelings. Of course, it is also important to be able to elicit empathy. Ask the other person to take your place and explain how you feel.

5. Be proactive. Not deciding is worse than any bad decision. Interpersonal conflicts usually generate a load of emotions that have consequences on a personal and social level. Hence, avoiding them is almost never the best solution, as it will bring only worry and stress. After weighing the pros and cons, make up your mind to tackle the problem. Maybe you won't fix it right away but at least you will start taking the first steps to find an alternative.

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