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Conflicts normally occur when people are in close proximity of each other. There will always be differences and tempers will rise. However, any situation can be resolved without causing animosities. Keep in mind that a soft answer always drives away wrath (Proverbs 15:1).
Use this time of quietness to get the family together to discuss what is happening in your environment.
Begin by listening to each other, and asking questions to obtain understanding and find solutions.
Share differences, and be honest with yourself and those around you.
How does Conflict occurs?
Conflict usually occurs between individuals and groups. Whether those persons live together or work together. There is no particular setting for conflict to take place. Similar to fire which needs oxygen and fuel, conflict needs people with differences of opinions and who have needs.
In this present situation being faced by the entire world, families may get into disputes because of misunderstandings and miscommunications. It is not that individuals do not love or care for each other; but nerves are frayed. People face an uncertain future and there is no real answers concerning what will happen next! There is fear and all kinds of emotions are being expressed.
Listen to your Mind
When conflict occurs, frequently, it is not so much the issues or the nature of the conflict, but rather the level of communication and different styles being used by individuals. Therefore, listen to yourself before trying to fix others.
The fact that presently, everyone seems to be in a place of uncertainty, there is hardly anyone who can help the other. The main thing to do is to listen to one’s mind.
Before you do, read these words from Philippians 4:8:
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Think about the statements you heard, before making decisions about a conflict situation.
What are the things coming into your consciousness concerning the incident with your spouse, or family member? Are those ideas true? Take a moment and listen. You may need to write some things down for clarity and further explanations. From these inner searches, you may need to make some adjustments with your communication style or your perception of things or individuals.
Always look at yourself first before trying to fix another person. This is a form of taking care of the “I” situation rather than the “you” discrepancies. You may find that the statement was not so damaging after all. It might be more helpful than you first thought. Listen, listen, listen!
Tips to Help you Manage Conflicts
There are many ways which individuals can use to manage conflicts. For example, if you are not sure of what you heard, ask questions.
Learn to listen carefully, and make sure you understand what the other person said.
James 1:19 states “… let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:”
Listen first, then make sure you heard the other person. Do not analyze words, or phrases and then go after the person. When you are not certain of what you thought you heard:
Re-frame and paraphrase for clarity and understanding.
When you are not sure; non-threateningly, ask: “Did I hear you say…?”
This is your family [spouse, sibling, friend]. The present situation will pass, and you will need each other throughout life.
Deal with misunderstandings by following the guidelines below.
- Allow each person to speak.
- Be patient and encourage silence. It is important to get the other person to talk in order to encourage communication.
- Use body language, eye contact, with smiles and nodding to emphasize active listening.
- Carefully, and respectfully point out key issues and summarize so that there is clear understanding of the situation, to avoid any ambiguities.
- Do not call each other names or make statements such as:
- “You never…”
- “I knew you would have said that.”
- “You were always“
- Do not bring up past hurts because you are all hurting at this time.
- Be patient with one another.
- Learn to listen before acting.
- Try to get to know each other afresh.
- Play games.
- Laugh a lot at each and with each other without animosities. This pandemic does not have to control your entire life unless you will allow it. What you cannot change concerning the distancing, you can change at home by being loving and kind to each other.
When this pandemic is over, make sure that you will still have each other.
Pay Attention to Non-verbal Communication
The way how we feel about something or each other can be read through the body language which speaks volumes. When we disagree with someone, we do not have to speak to show our disagreement.
Some non-verbal cues:
- We ignore the person.
- Raised eyebrows.
- Slouching, folding of the arms, and a certain look.
- We give the silent treatment.
- In-congruence in communication: Saying one thing while meaning another.
- Being disrespectful by shouting and banging doors
- Being angry at each other for no apparent reason.
- Lack of self-control – use calmness, and patience.
- Using hurtful words to describe each other.
Lack of self-control, mis-understandings and miscommunication will destroy any relationship.
Let us help you!
We invite you to inquire about our Conflict Management courses here at Shekinah Theological College. This is an online Christian institution with practical learning principles as you see above to help families and loved ones get through this time.
To reach us dial 678 964 4096 [voice, text] or Email Us or complete the Contact Form below
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Learn to respect yourself, and you will respect others.
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