Ground Rules For Conflict Resolution
The holidays are a time when we think of warm and loving relating with family and friends, right? Well, what happens when a heated discussion about the recent election comes up at the Thanksgiving table? Or how about when Cousin Ernie brings his new wife over for pumpkin pie? You know, the one that argues with everyone about everything?
Conflict can arise whenever people disagree about their perceptions, desires, ideas or values. These differences can be as trivial as how mashed potatoes should be made at Thanksgiving to as significant as political differences, religious beliefs or major life choices and viewpoints that are different from your own. Regardless of the content of the disagreement, conflict can stir up very strong emotions that can result in an unhappy ending for everyone involved.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Believe it or not, with some simple “Fighting Fair” boundaries put into place BEFORE everyone gets together, those strong emotions can be contained preventing those potential big blow-ups so that everyone can enjoy their holiday time together.
So, here are the “Fighting Fair” ground rules:
- Be willing to fix the problem
- Say what the problem is for you
- Listen to what the problem is for them
- Attack the problem, not the person
- Look for answers so everyone gets what they need
Here’s what to avoid:
- Name calling
- Put downs
- Hitting below the belt
- Getting even
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