Positive Ways to Handle Conflicts

Conflict resolution can take many forms, but handling conflict in a positive way can help all parties relax and be more open to compromise. What are the most effective and positive ways to negotiate a settlement?

Positive Ways to Handle Conflicts
Relationships have two basic required skills: communication and compromise. Both of these are means to handle conflicts. Any relationship, whether romantic, professional or otherwise, is going to have some conflicts during its course. The key to having a successful relationship, then, isn't to avoid conflicts. Instead, it's vital to talk it out, to stay in control of your emotions and to remember that the goal is resolution, not victory.
Keep on Topic
One of the most common causes of unresolved conflicts in relationships is a discussion that has gone on a tangent. Stick to the issue at hand until a compromise is reached when discussing a conflict you have with someone. Don't bring up things that happened a month or a year ago. Even if it somehow is relevant, it only provokes anger and repressed feelings. Eventually, if old issues or tangential problems keep getting brought up, the original reason for the argument goes unresolved because both of you have likely forgotten about it.
Avoid Blaming
Approach conflicts in a calm mood whenever possible, when you're able to discuss your problems with a clear head. Don't allow yourself to get so angry that you can't speak without resorting to shouting, name-calling or blaming. If you feel too angry, a 10-minute break can allow you to calm down. Avoid attempts to place blame; when people feel like they're blamed, they become defensive and therefore less willing to listen to your position.
Listen, Then Talk
Allow the other person to finish what she's trying to say. Don't interrupt, because you may miss an important point. Listen attentively and make it apparent that you're doing so by keeping firm eye contact, but not staring, which is intimidating. When the other person is finished speaking, acknowledge his feelings first. This shows willingness to communicate and creates a more empathetic atmosphere. Remember, arguments aren't about winning and losing, but rather compromise for both parties.
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