This week’s conflict resolution tip is to take a moment before responding.
Take a Moment Before Responding
Imagine the most recent conflict you had with someone. How did you feel? Often, when people are in conflict we feel triggered emotionally in some way. When we feel defensive, likely one of our basic needs or goals are being impeded or threatened. As these feelings come up, it is common to want to react or respond quickly to things that trigger us emotionally. In fact, we tend to react quickly without mindfulness or thoughtfulness to avoid or defend against the threats and even to show the other person how ‘right’ we are and how ‘wrong’ they are.
Although these reactions are common and come naturally to people, they aren’t all that effective for managing, preventing, or resolving conflict constructively. Instead of reacting immediately to something, it may be better to recognize when you are triggered and take a moment before responding. One example of this is taking 5 breaths and just counting them before responding. Another method is setting a rule for yourself that you only respond after 3 seconds of contemplation when triggered. Whichever way you get there, taking a moment to think and respond before automatically reacting is not easy but will likely bring more peace into your life than simply reacting.