Handling Conflict :: Both Internal & External

Tips & Tricks & Why Do I Care?

Going into the holiday season can be nostalgic in many ways, yet still fraught with tension. To alleviate the inevitable pains that come with an ill-spoken word or argument, it is important to find manageable ways to deal with confrontation and conflict. Here are my top four tips along with an awesome apology format to follow in the future.

- if something is said that makes you want to lash out::

and an immediate response is necessary, take three full inhales and exhales before responding. If you can wait to respond, take the time to filter your words in a way that strongly presents your opinion but comes across without inflicting pain.

- if something is written that makes you want to lash out::

do not respond immediately. Write out what you would like to say, but do not send it at that moment. Take out unnecessary expressions of anger, and after ensuring your words come across mindfully and intentionally without cruelty, hit the send button.

- if you do or have done something in an expression of anger or hatred::

remember a heartfelt and sincere apology goes a lot further than resentment ever will. For example, if you've hurt someone's feelings or said an unkind remark, ask yourself why you lashed out that way, how it might have impacted their life to hear something like that, and ways you two might move forward.

A helpful format is,
"It has come to my attention that my action of (action requiring apology) could be seen as (offensive, annoying, hurtful, etc). I never intended to (consequence of your action). I want you to understand I was merely trying to (your intention), though I can see now that it may appear I was (perceived motive). Please accept my (adjective) apology. Moving forward, I will attempt to (proposed solution). That said, I would very much appreciate it if you (request for other party). Sincerely your (relationship to person), (your name)."

- if you are angry with or hate yourself::

breathe, ask yourself what exactly makes you upset, and plan simple steps you can take moving forward to change the behavior that bothers you. As an example, imagine you are upset you do not wake up on time. Ask yourself if you are going to bed too late, having difficulty staying asleep, or feeling overly stressed during the day. Some helpful steps would be to wind down earlier in the evening to go to bed at a more appropriate-for-you time, to lessen your load during the day by delegating or re-prioritizing, or possibly adjusting your caffeine intake if you're having trouble falling and staying asleep.

Choosing love is not easy. It requires effort and self-reflection. Be kind to yourself if you lash out or wish you had done something differently. Take small steps.

+ Did you find these tips helpful? What is your go-to calm down strategy?

P.S. Use the hashtag #thegreatvibesguide for anything that makes you feel like doing the happy dance or expressing your imperfectly perfect self.

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