How to Use Mindfulness and Self-Awareness to Deal with Conflicts

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Human interaction is a wonderful dance between you and others. However, as you’ll know from your own experiences, interacting and communicating with others isn’t always a smooth ride.

Disagreements can happen in your personal and professional life. You can get upset. Other people can also get upset at you. In effect, you can find yourself in conflict with other people.

Usually, falling out with people is not a nice experience. It can stop people talking to each other and friendships and relationships can get damaged.

If you find yourself in conflict, then it is always wise to talk through issues with other people involved, to ask questions and to figure our amicable solutions in a fair way. This is important to help ensure the conflict doesn’t escalate, which can potentially impact even more people.

There are also a number of ways you can apply mindfulness and your own self-awareness to help you deal with conflicts and stay resourceful. Read the following tips to see how:

Allow the moment to pass

If a family member, friend, colleague or associate says something and you notice your blood beginning to boil, see how long you can last without actually reacting. Notice the feelings of discomfort arising in you and be present with them.

Don’t become attached to the uncomfortable feelings and allow them to pass away without identifying with them. This will then enable you to focus on resolving problems calmly.

Another way of look at this is through your ego. It is your ego that it really reacting. And your true self is far more than your ego, which you can choose to ignore.

Allow the moment for others to pass too

Just like your own reactions to conflict will pass, so will others’ responses. Give people (and their egos) time and space to get over any issues they may have had with you.

Recognise the differences in perspectives

Each one of us has a differing view of the world, of experiences, situations and circumstances.

You can nip conflicts in the bud just by appreciating that other people will have different opinions to you and considering how you can combine your views and those of others to create something new.

Put yourself in the shoes of others

In a conflict you may have legitimate grievances. However, in many cases a conflict can be resolved simply by putting yourself into the shoes of others.

By doing this, you get a better insight of exactly what the individual is going through. Perhaps he/she has been particularly pressured through work lately and their conflict with you is a symptom of that.

Keep the conflict isolated

By spending more time in the present moment, you ensure you’re not pondering on the conflict for too long. By doing this, you increase your ability to isolate the conflict, so that it doesn’t affect other areas of your life.

Remember, you are always more than any experience you might be having. In the same way, you’re far more than any conflict. Hence you have the ability to ensure the conflict doesn’t spread.

My friends, it’s over to you:

• What other ways can we use to help ourselves deal with conflicts we have with others?
• Please share your valuable views, experiences and thoughts in the comments box below.
• Please also share this post on your favourite social networks. Thank you.

Photo Credit: Frenkieb

 

16 Comments
  1. Great points, Hiten. Mindfulness can help navigate these situations more effectively. If we respond rather than react, we take a more mindful way. Our response will likely be more centered, calm, and measured, which will serve us well in managing conflict. Thanks! Jon

    1. Hi Jon,

      I really appreciate you sharing your views on mindfulness.

      Practicing mindfulness really can change one for the better and as you said, our responses to others and indeed the outside world, will be so much calmer, which then helps us in dealing with conflict.
      Thanks for sharing some wonderful insights, Jon!

  2. Hiten.

    Solid points. I particularly like the first tip about letting the moment pass. I used to let my anger act first, and I often would instantly regret what I said. Just waiting a few moments, taking a deep breath, counting to 10 or whatever will let that initial anger fade and allow you to view the confilict a bit more dispassionately.

    1. Hi SJ,

      It’s great to see you here, my friend.

      I’m glad you could resonate with the point about letting the moment pass and I just loved what you shared about taking a deep breath and waiting for the moment to pass. When we do this, we are doing a great service to ourselves as we’re no longer slaves to our emotions.

      Many thanks for leaving such a wonderful comment, SJ!

  3. Basically… all points of this post are correct on their own way. I do agree with post. As well as appreciate post too.

    1. Hi Taniya,

      Welcome to the blog and I’m glad you could resonate with the points in the post.

      Thank you for commenting!

  4. Hi Hiten,
    Your post touches upon the most critical issues in human dealings.
    I believe a host of our problems occur due to our fixation with “displaying” ourselves in some fashion before others.
    Seriously,sometime soon, we need to sit down calmly and examine our proclivities.
    Why must we always be on “show”?Who are these people from whom we seek constant applause?How important is it really?What if we don’t get that approval and praise?What if we do,then what?Where is our genuine self hidden?How is this mindset contributing to our,or anyone else’s progress?
    An entire lifetime flits by,and we don’t comprehend,we don’t realise what we have been doing.It’s good to wake up early.

    Thanks
    Mona

    1. Hi Mona,

      I can really appreciate what you wrote about how a lot of our problems stem from believing that we need to present ourselves to others in certain ways. As you quite rightly said, why do we feel we must always be on display?

      I believe making a good impression is fine. However, if we’re doing it just to be accepted then there is the risk that our sense of worth is dependent upon the opinion of others. This is a big mistake as we can never control what others think about us. Hence, it’s vital that our sense of worth comes from within, first and foremost.

      I agree the quicker one can awake to this issue, the better. Thanks for leaving such an insightful comment my friend.

  5. Good topic and good points, my friend. Who hasn’t experienced conflict? Aside from your advice, I’d add on thought, which is along the lines of your point about putting ourselves in others’ shoes. That is, if I feel under attack, I’d try to remember that the other person feels threatened and that’s why they behave the way they do, out of self-preservation. I experienced that just recently, when I felt that someone tried (repeatedly) to put me in my place–unprovoked. I realized that she felt threatened/insecure. While it didn’t feel good to be the recipient of the behavior, it helped me tap into my compassion, instead of reacting to the antagonism.

    (BTW, separate point, I’m not seeing your posts in my Triberr feed anymore. Not sure why… Have to come “find” you. :-))

    1. Hi Alice,

      I’m so glad you liked the topic and the points in the post.

      Absolutely, conflict is something we’ve all experienced and will do so in the future, too. I loved the story you shared about the person who was trying to put down repeatedly. Your reaction and attitude is such a resourceful one to take, and as you discovered this person was feeling threatened. And your right, when we see that a person is in pain through feeling threatened we can respond with compassion. Thanks very much for adding these great insights to the post, Alice.

      Thanks also for letting me know about Triberr. I’ll go into my account in a moment and see what might be happening… -)

  6. Great advice Hiten! Experiences in my youth “gifted” me with some pretty hefty anger issues as a young adult so I had to learn the hard way to harness the power of pissed off. Each of your points is spot on, but the one thing that has always helped me most is to put myself on a mini time out to avoid flash and burn. Fortunately, even in the worst of times, my anger was short lived, so a little perspective went a long way toward helping me to overcome earlier issues.

    1. Hi Marty,

      I’m really glad you liked the advice in the post, my friend and thanks so much for sharing your experiences around this area. What you shared about taking mini time outs really does show that allowing whatever unhelpful emotion we’re experiencing to stay for a while and subside, without reacting, can really work.

      It’s like creating a new habit of not reacting.

      Thanks for leaving such a wonderful comment, Marty. Hope you’re having a good week!

  7. Hi Hiten,

    Well before I enter the personal development world at times I had an aggressive behavior that was due to my years of being bullied as a child and a teenager in school. This developed tons of problems for me both physically and emotionally.

    One day I didn’t talk very nicely to my then pretty new sister in law, and she NEVER forgave me for that. I didn’t know it, until one day, my mother was crying and when I asked why she told me that my sister in law “couldn’t stand me”.

    So, in other words, it’s very important that when we have an altercation with someone we don’t take it too personally and don’t keep a grudge which eventually will bite you in the butt.

    It’s always best to try to put ourselves in other people’s shoes as you’re saying and try to understand them. Doing this will help keep the peace.

    Thank you for those great tips.

    1. Hi Sylviane,

      It’s great to see you and many thanks for sharing your experiences of when you were younger. I can imagine being bullied must have very painful. I think bullying in children and younger people is terrible and I wish there was a way to stamp it out completely.

      I really appreciate the advice you shared about not taking conflict too personally and not keeping a grudge. When we do these two things, ultimately it is us who continues to suffer.

      Many thanks for adding so much more value to this post, Sylviane. Hope you’re having a good week.

  8. Hello Hiten,

    It has been a while since I came over to read your blog, sorry about that.

    You really do make a point to pick up the most difficult topics to write about. Resolving a conflict among friends and family can be quite a task for me. “Allow the moment to pass” – wow that is really easier said than done. The moment I see or hear something of conflict, the first reaction of any human being for that matter would be to agree/disagree with it. To practice it takes quite an effort I think. Well, worth a try 🙂

    1. Hi Praveen,

      It’s so nice to see you here, my friend! Please, there’s no need to be sorry. It’s a delight to see you whenever you’re able to come along!

      Ah, Praveen, indeed allowing those moments to pass certainly is challenging. I find it is most difficult with these who are closest to us. Having said this, I’ve made some good progress in this over the past 2 years. I’ve seen a subtle shift where I don’t react in certain conflict situations where previously I would have reacted in a second. I still continue on this journey.

      Hope all is well and that you’re having a good week! 🙂

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