Negotiating Conflicts April 4
Recovery is about more than walking away. Sometimes it means learning to stay and deal. It’s about building and maintaining relationships that work.
Problems and conflicts are part of life and relationships – with friends, family, loved ones, and at work – problem-solving and conflict negotiation are skills we can acquire and improve with time.
Not being willing to tackle and solve problems in relationships leads to unresolved feelings of anger and victimization, terminated relationships, unresolved problems, and power plays that intensify the problem and waste time and energy.
Not being willing to face and solve problems means we may run into that problem again.
Some problems with people cannot be worked out in mutually satisfactory ways. Sometimes the problem is a boundary issue we have, and there is not room to negotiate. In that case, we need to clearly understand what we want and need and what our bottom line is.
Some problems with people, though, can be worked out, worked through, and satisfactorily negotiated. Often, there are workable options for solving problems that we will not even see until we become open to the concept of working through problems in relationships, rather than running from the problems.
To negotiate problems, we must be willing to identify the problem, let go of blame and shame, and focus on possible creative solutions. To successfully negotiate and solve problems in relationships, we must have a sense of our bottom line and our boundary issues, so we don’t waste time trying to negotiate non-negotiable issues.
We need to learn to identify what both people really want and need and the different possibilities for working that out. We can learn to be flexible without being too flexible. Committed, intimate relationships mean two people are learning to work together through their problems and conflicts in ways that work in both people’s best interest.
Today, I will be open to negotiating conflicts I have with people. I will strive for balance without being too submissive or too demanding. I will strive for appropriate flexibility in my problem-solving efforts.
From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without the written permission of the publisher.