Confronting a person who has made you upset can be tricky. On one hand you don’t want to fight, but on the other hand, you also don’t want to turn a blind eye to the way the person has made you feel. Sometimes it seems like we only have those two choices in the matter. However, by following a few useful techniques you can confront the person and still remain close friends.
Schedule the Meeting
Make sure before you even take the first step of handling a conflict to schedule a meeting with the person with an aim to solve the conflict you are undergoing. The meeting should be requested and not demanded for. Keep it simple. Don’t accidentally dive into the issue prematurely. Just ask for a time you can both sit down and talk.
Get The Necessary Help
Before you begin the serious talk ahead, it would be best if you engaged in a prayer in order to ask for God’s presence. Ask for mutual understanding between both of you and a conclusive end.
Carefully Set Your Opening Remarks
The starting tone plays a big role in determining the direction the conversation will go. If you begin in a harsh note, chances are that your efforts will yield negative results.
It works best to begin your conversation without passing blames or faults on each other. Instead, you should show concern over the matter at hand other than blaming them for the act. In the same note, you should acknowledge their good intentions. It should not seem as if the whole thing was intentional.
State the Problem
This is actually the most difficult part in solving a conflict. This is the heart of the tackling the issue.
You need to do the following:
1) Relate what he/she did or said.
DO SAY: “This morning you said…”
DON’T SAY: “This morning you were obnoxious.”
2) Explain the consequences of his/her word/actions.
What happened because of their actions?
3) Describe how it made you feel.
Did you feel hurt, humiliated, or disrespected?
4) Tell him/her what you want them to do.
Don’t skip this step. Tell them what you want from them going forward.
Express Your Regrets And Apology
Forgiveness is a great way of bringing a conflict to rest.
At this stage, BOTH parties should consider is there is anything to apologize for. You need to consider if you inappropriately expressed your anger or made your friend suffer in any way.
Make sure to express a sincere apology and also to forgive the other person. The apology should be from the heart and should be aimed at solving a conflict completely.
Confirm Your Love and Commitment
After a conflict has been brought to rest, it is time to redefine your love and commitment by making it even stronger. Let your friend know that your love is still intact. It is a form of reassurance that will keep your relationship going.
Most conflicts in a friendship reoccur by skipping this step. It is important to remember everything that you talked about. This should remind you on what you promised to do differently such that the conflict is avoided in the long run.
It will take some time to master all of these techniques. In the short term it will be tougher. Especially since conflicts sometimes can catch you off-guard. Just remember to stay cool, calm, and collected. Say more positive things than negative. Don’t hesitate to apologize, forgive and communicate love. This will get you through most situations.
“Fight Fair: Winning At Conflict Without Losing at Love”, Tim & Joy Downs, 2010