The One Thing You’re Doing Wrong When Resolving Conflict

Conflict resolution is not about proving who’s right or wrong, but about finding a way to work together despite the differences.
The Love Central - Resolving conflicts is important for maintaining healthy relationships The Love Central - Resolving conflicts is important for maintaining healthy relationships
Resolving conflicts is important for maintaining healthy relationships
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  • Resolving conflicts is important for maintaining healthy relationships and fostering growth and understanding
  • However, there is one common mistake many people make when trying to resolve conflicts
  • In this article, we will explore the one thing you’re doing wrong when resolving conflict

Conflict is inevitable in any human interaction, whether it’s at work, at home, or anywhere else. We all have different opinions, perspectives, and interests that can clash with those of others. 

However, how we handle conflict can make a big difference in the outcome and the quality of our relationships.

You may think that you’re good at resolving conflict, or at least avoiding it. But there’s one thing that you may be doing wrong that could be sabotaging your efforts: trying to prove that you’re right and the other person is wrong.

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Because trying to prove youre right implies that the other person is wrong Image source Freepik

Why Trying to Prove You’re Right is Wrong When Resolving Conflict 

It’s natural to want to defend your position and convince the other person that you have a valid point. After all, you believe that you’re right, and you want them to see things your way. But this approach often backfires and leads to more conflict, not less.

Why? Because trying to prove you’re right implies that the other person is wrong, and no one likes to be told that they’re wrong. It makes them feel attacked, invalidated and disrespected. 

It triggers their ego and their emotions, and they become defensive and resistant. They may also try to prove that they’re right and you’re wrong, creating a vicious cycle of arguments and counterarguments that go nowhere.

Trying to prove you’re right also prevents you from listening to the other person’s point of view and understanding where they’re coming from. 

You may miss important information, assumptions, or feelings that could help you find common ground or a compromise. You may also overlook the underlying needs or interests that are driving the conflict, such as respect, recognition, security, or autonomy.

What to do Instead of Trying to Prove You’re Right When Resolving Conflict

So what should you do instead of trying to prove you’re right when resolving conflict? Here are some suggestions:

  • Focus on the problem, not the person: Instead of blaming, criticizing, or judging the other person, try to describe the situation objectively and state how it affects you. Use “I” statements instead of “you” statements, such as “I feel frustrated when you interrupt me” instead of “You’re so rude and disrespectful”.
  • Acknowledge the other person’s perspective: Even if you don’t agree with them, try to show them that you hear them and respect their opinion. You can say something like “I understand that you see it differently” or “I appreciate your point of view”. This can help reduce their defensiveness and open up the dialogue.
  • Ask questions and listen actively: Instead of making assumptions or jumping to conclusions, try to ask open-ended questions that invite the other person to share more about their thoughts and feelings. For example, “What are your concerns about this proposal?” or “How do you feel about this situation?” Then listen attentively and empathetically, without interrupting or arguing. Try to understand the needs and interests behind their position.
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Evaluate the options based on their feasibility fairness and effectiveness Image source Freepik
  • Look for areas of agreement: Instead of focusing on the differences and disagreements, try to find some common ground or shared goals that you can both agree on. For example, “We both want to improve our productivity” or “We both care about our team’s success”. This can help create a positive atmosphere and a sense of cooperation.
  • Explore options and alternatives: Instead of sticking to your position or demanding a specific solution, try to brainstorm different ways to resolve the problem that could satisfy both parties. Be flexible and creative, and don’t reject any idea without considering its pros and cons. Evaluate the options based on their feasibility, fairness, and effectiveness.

Conclusion: The One Thing You’re Doing Wrong When Resolving Conflict

Conflict resolution is not about proving who’s right or wrong, but about finding a way to work together despite the differences. 

By avoiding the common mistake of trying to prove you’re right, and by following the suggestions above, you can improve your chances of reaching a constructive and mutually beneficial outcome.

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