Take a Chill Pill When Facing Conflict

I hope that this is true for you too, but the older I have gotten, the calmer I have become. I have never been a wild one, quite the contrary. However, the way I see life has moved to be more inclusive of possibilities I am not aware of. Growing up, our world is whatever small bubble we live in. We aren’t very aware of how other people live or anything that is happening in other places. As we mature, we should be learning about other cultures and growing in empathy. Unfortunately even after having this opportunity, we don’t always take the time to consider a different point of view.

Younger me, with freshly acquired adult responsibilities, would feel (imagine a gasp-and-hand-to-chest situation) so insulted that someone just didn’t take me into consideration. Couldn’t they see that I was right there? Didn’t they know that you don’t speak to people that way? How dare they!

I’ve noticed lately that whenever I get upset or feel that the limits have been transgressed, I don’t immediately take action. I might speak my mind to myself or to whoever is on my side, but I have realized the importance of taking a pause and revisiting when my emotions aren’t at the helm of my life. I wish I would know when this started because it was the day maturity patted me on the back.

Pausing before acting is more beneficial than we might want to think whenever we resemble an active volcano. Taking a breather will not only help you collect your thoughts and analyze the situation in a more logical manner. It will also diminish the the possibility of an unnecessary altercation with someone.

Talk about taking a problem into deeper mess. Your emotions will blow up whatever happened and depending on how you handle conflict, you would either bring it all on you, on someone else, or on the person who just hurt you. First things first:

  • Why did the issue happen? You might not even be the reason for such a treatment.
  • Something else to think of is if there was a true misunderstanding. Maybe the expectations were too far from reality or things just were not said.
  • Are you hungry? I have heard that fighting while hungry is always a bad decision.
  • Are you tired?
  • What about your mood? Are you already upset because someone did something to you?
  • Did you say or do something to make this situation happen?

You get a chance to go through these scenarios before taking a step forward.

In all honesty, if you weren’t the cause of it, try as much as you can to brush it off, or at least give the person the chance to cool down and later talk about it. A bad attitude on your side won’t make it better.

If you were treated unjustly, try to have a conversation in a calm manner. If you can wait until the other person calms down, you might have better results. To avoid the situation from blowing up, stick to the facts and to this specific situation. Bringing in flaws and past issues will only make matters worse. The goal should be to solve the issue, not to break the person and/or the relationship.

If you are the culprit, try to make amends. Take responsibility, be honest, and do what can be done to fix it.

Having conflict is just part of life. It is okay to disagree: there is not one person you will fully agree with in the whole wide world. It might take a while to finally get that first, we need to listen to others to see where they are coming from, that it is okay to disagree, and that we shouldn’t take all things personal. So when you face conflict, take a breather to give yourself the chance to bring your best self to handle the situation.

5 thoughts on “Take a Chill Pill When Facing Conflict

  1. I have noticed that I become upset when something has happened that is triggering a memory from an upsetting situation in my past–and especially when it is triggering a memory of something that was traumatic. I try to take a breather before reacting, because the issue is probably more with me than with the other person!

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  2. I also read that being hungry can act as a trigger and you offer good points on not reacting instantly. But, doesn’t it impact you mentally with anger and how do you channel the unexpressed emotions, Karla. I am asking since facing the emotions from time to time.

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    1. Thanks for reaching out! You have a great point on handling the emotions at the moment. I try to remove myself from the situation to avoid reacting. I then try to start calming down through a walk or some other simple but not involved distraction, and try to gain perspective with the questions I shared. If I cannot pull away, I try to remain polite by remembering why I am there until I can step away.

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