Conflict is unavoidable, but you can still take preventative measures. It’s possible to sidestep an argument if you know a few of the most common sources of stress and the ways to manage them.
That said, the root cause of a conflict isn’t always obvious. For example, a couple may argue because a date was rescheduled, but the tension may actually stem from a fear of disinterest.
Fortunately, you can identify the underlying reasons why someone reacts with anger, even outright hostility. In diagnosing the issue, it’s easier to de-escalate the situation and restore harmony.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few pain points and learn how to address them.
1. Failure to Communicate
A lack or failure of communication can create conflict very quickly. The wrong words at the wrong time can cause anger, even among people who are typically easy-going.
For example, a staff member could grow irritated if you ask them to redo work due to a lack of clear instructions. Your partner may feel uneasy if you neglect to text and tell them you stopped for happy hour with colleagues.
To improve your communication skills, ask yourself why you reach out to another. For instance, if you need to complete a challenging assignment according to precise directions, review these with all the team members involved. If you’re going to get home late, tell your spouse you’ll get home late.
Another great tool to deal with conflict is attending conflict resolution classes, as they are an excellent way to learn tools to deal with conflict. In these classes, you will learn the importance of understanding your conflict style and how to effectively use conflict resolution strategies in different scenarios. The techniques taught can be used in any type of interpersonal situation, such as with family members, colleagues at work, or even strangers.
2. Unclear Expectations
Conflict can rear its head when your expectations are unclear or inconsistent. A property manager who repeatedly lets their tenants pay late — but adopts a hard stance during an economic crisis — may face a challenge with collecting rent.
Many states allow for ten days from the notice date to pay past due amounts and restore accounts to good standing. However, the resentment your tenant feels could lead to them taking inferior care of your property.
To prevent conflicts from arising, communicate your expectations. Do this at home, too. It’s unfair to yell at your partner over the amount of second-shift labour you perform, for example, if you have never asked them politely to pick up their share of the chores.
3. Jealousy And Insecurity
Conflict can also come about from jealousy or insecurity. If a colleague worked in the same office for years, they might resent a new hire who shows a lot of potential. If you start spending your weekends hanging out with a neighbour your partner barely knows, they might feel suspicious.
The best way to deal with feelings of jealousy is to remain calm and discuss your concerns softly and rationally. Lashing out in rage will only compound the problem. It can even destroy the relationship.
4. Lack Of Control
If there’s one thing the Corona virus epidemic has taught society, it’s that uncertainty leads to fear. When people feel like cornered animals, they don’t always act rationally or in everyone’s best interest. They may hoard toilet paper, for instance, a resource that everyone needs.
The most positive thing to do in chaotic situations is to remain calm. Yes, your emotions may run the gamut from terror to rage, but don’t let them show on the surface. Walk away from the situation to collect yourself.
5. Harassment And Bullying
No one should ever have to tolerate harassment or bullying in the workplace or at home. Unfortunately, difficult economic times will sometimes lead people to accept circumstances they’d never tolerate if they had the means to leave.
Unfortunately, 81% of workers perceive that employers do little to nothing to address this behavior at the office. If you feel that you’re the victim, document everything. This paperwork helps your HR department start the investigation process.
6. Resentment And Unfairness
Another reason for conflict is perceived unfairness. You can see this situation play out on the national stage in the way politics have become polarized and heated.
Many of the hardest-working Americans have experienced wage stagnation and other economic factors that create challenges in making ends meet. When they’re unable to, despite their most concerted efforts, they understandably grow resentful and angry.
If you feel a situation is unfair, speak up about what you would like to see change. For example, if you have worked hard for a promotion, set a time to discuss it with your boss. You might not get the results you want, but you’ll have the information you need to move forward.
Recognise The Sources Of Conflict
When you recognise the underlying cause of most conflicts, you can take action to avoid them. If uncomfortable situations do arise, you can diffuse them more quickly and restore peace.
Dylan Bartlett blogs about health and wellness on his site, Just a Regular Guide. Follow him on Twitter @theregularguide for frequent updates on his work!