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How To Deal With Conflict

Internal conflict, conflict within yourself, reflects the difference between what you really feel and what you are able or choose to do about it. Interpersonal conflict happens between you and another person when what they do or say is different from what you feel and vice-versa.

Everybody has four basic psychological needs.  These are the need to be valued, to be in control, the need for self esteem or self worth, and last of all the need for consistency or stability. 

1.  The feeling of need to be valued or appreciated by others is a basic psychological requirement. 

You want others to identify your worth and value your contributions.  You're more motivated when your contributions are recognized.  If you experience being unappreciated, in use advantage of, or taken for granted, you could feel that your need to be appreciated and valued has been violated and this can cause a reaction of fear, anger or often both. 

2.  The need to be in control 

Being in control is essential for everyone, but more for some people than others.  The more insecure you feel about yourself, the more controlling you might become.  In contrast, if you are feeling secure and positive about yourself then your need to be in charge will be decreased. 

When you have to deal with over controlling people remember their need to control comes from their insecurity.  Make them feel safe and their need to control will generally reduce. 

3.  The need for self esteem and self worth 

By this I mean you should appreciate yourself and look at your strengths instead of any weakness (we all possess both).  A strong self esteem will give you a powerful, solid base for dealing with all types of problems and situations. 

With a strong self esteem, you have the capacity to positively respond or respond to any type of situation, rather than reacting negatively by panicking or staying away from the possible conflict. 

4.  The need to be consistent 

You have to know what is expected to happen in any given situation.  You need consistency from family, friends, partners, and everyone in your life.  If you don’t get consistency from anyone you will always feel concerned about the unexpected. 

This doesn’t necessarily mean that no one can change their minds but someone who changes opinions or reacts in a different way to the same situation brings a level of insecurity in to your life and you never know how to respond. 

The reason certain people feel the need to change has to do with their insecurity.  Since they feel insecure about themselves, they attempt to fit in with others all the time and will agree with whoever they believe has the most dominant personality. 

Every time any of these needs are not met conflicts (internal, external or both) are created and people typically react in one of four ways.   

They can retaliate, dominate, isolate, or cooperate. 

Retaliation and domination could cause extreme violence.  When dealing with conflict, isolation separates the parties but doesn't solve the conflict, while with cooperation one party allows their feelings to be ignored and accepts the suggestion of another over their own. 

If you are aware of these basic needs and reactions you will start to understand how and why you and others react the way you do.  Considering these needs, understanding them and acting upon them will make you a more complete and therefore a more confident individual and will give you strength at times of conflict.