The origin of most conflicts, whether between couples, colleagues or friends, stems from the conviction that each party feels he/she is “right.” One’s needs, values and interests thus differ from the other to the point that each party will try to persuade the other to agree with what one believes to be true. This then generates a heated debate in which each side is presented and the argument will continue to rise unless one of two things occurs: one person backs down and admits defeat (“You’re right, I’m wrong. Sorry.”); or a negotiation is sought for conciliation. The notion of agreeing to disagree only leads to resentment which may raise the issue again at a later time and should thus should only be employed if joint forces are not required, each living their separate lives.

To effectively resolve a conflict, one must begin with a change of heart on the topic. You could both be right, or both be wrong. Right now, it doesn’t matter. The most difficult yet most important thing to keep in mind is to be honest and objective. The desire to be right at all costs or to avoid admitting being in the wrong is what leads to frustration and aggressivity. Rather, see the disagreement as a test to grow the human spirit, being prudent and wise.

1. Ask yourself, do you really want to resolve this conflict? If it’s not crucial to find a solution to the problem, it’s just a waste of time focusing on it, isn’t it? Imagine a clerk was rude to you at the ticket counter. Do you really feel the need to show him the error of his ways? Perhaps it’s better to leave, having spoken your peace, and not forcing an apology or redemption.
2. If you do feel that a resolution to the conflict is necessary for peace to be obtained, then take the time to consider the other person’s point of view. Put yourself aside for a moment and think about what the other person is trying to communicate. Have you understood the whole story? Can you be empathetic about the situation? Thinking about the other person doesn’t mean you stop thinking about yourself. However, this puts you in the situation of being able to find an appropriate middle ground. Is there a compromise to be negotiated upon? What are you willing to sacrifice for the well-being of the other? Is it possible that you may be wrong about something or misinformed in some way?
3. In some circumstances, a compromise is not acceptable. Because a compromise is based on the give and take of each person involved, it is a way of promoting collaboration. However, when it comes to fundamentals (like morals and values), a compromise is rather a surrender of one’s principles and ethics. If this is the case, one must be open and honest about one’s ideals and explain one’s perspective to the fullest. The clear, organized in your thoughts, and secure in your beliefs without imposing anything. If the argument is strong enough, it should triumph on its own.
4. In response to each person’s full explanation of his or her point of view, the other person must listen. If John does not listen to everything Sally has to say, he has no way of being able to correct her when she is missing information or is misinformed about something. Listening not only means listening to the words being said but the meaning being intended. This is where objectivity plays a key role. If you really want to resolve the problem then be impartial as you listen.
5. Use tact. Trying to speak louder, faster, and more forcefully than the other person only limits the other person’s ability to convey their message thus blocking any attempt as effectively resolving the issue. Name calling, unruly gestures, and violence are childish means of self-gratification at the expense of the other.

The perfect couple is therefore one that solves the problems they never had on their own.

Author's Bio: 

Albert Garoli is a proficient health practitioner, medical researcher, and educator. He is a specialist in Ayurvedic medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Herbology, Biophysics, and Homotoxicology. Currently, he is teaching in the Italian College of Osteopathy (C.I.O) as well as the Italian School for Oriental Medicine (ScuolaTao), in convention with University Sapienza of Rome. He is also the director of the Holonomics cooperative project. His many years of experience have brought him to a revolutionary understanding of human neurobiology which is clearly explained in his new book: The Evolutionary Glitch.