This week’s conflict resolution tip is about what it means to get in the car with someone when in conflict.
Imagine that we’re all on a highway, each in our own cars. On this highway, we’re comfortable in our vehicle, driving forward towards our destination. While we all share the same view on the road, each person’s environment is unique to them. I might be blasting some ACDC while the car next to me is rocking out to Chopin. Some may have tinted windshields that make the outside world look different from those with standard windshields. The point is, while we all have a shared experience driving down the road, we each experience the drive in vastly different ways.
This metaphor considered, if we want to de-escalate and resolve conflict, it is important to get in the car with the other momentarily. What better way is there to show the other that you are not fundamentally against them, than by getting in the car with them and seeing things from their perspective?
This doesn’t mean you have to believe the other’s reality – it only means you’re better understanding it for these few moments. This type of action is a combination of empathy and perspective-taking, a pairing that can most certainly bring greater peace into your life and to the lives of those around you.