Have you ever felt like you just were not on the same page with someone? Where you wanted the same things, but had different approaches on how to get there? Or maybe the things you want are different so its not that you are on different pages but different books altogether. This often leads to conflict. The more passionate about the subject the bigger the blow up. It could be anything from how often you clean out your car, something my husband is pretty passionate about, to how to run a business. So how do you get back to the same page in the same book?
Everyone is different, which means that they have a different approach to problems and challenges, they have different levels of caring, and they react differently to conflict. My husband, Mike, cares very passionately about car care and maintenance. He's a mechanic, so if something happens he fixes it. I have know the basics about car care, usually by learning from my mistakes. When I was in my early 20's, I neglected to listen to my dad who constantly told me I needed to make sure I was checking my oil. I didn't and then my car was no more. I take my car thru the car wash when I happen to be in town. Mike would prefer that I wash it more often because we live on a dirt road. This has led to many conflicts. Mike and I are extremely different, close to polar opposites so if we aren't careful we could be fighting all the time over everything. So how do we avoid it?
It starts by knowing yourself. You should know yourself better than anyone. How you will react to situations & how to control your reactions. I get it, sometimes you just see red and that's it. No control in sight! I definitely have those moments. I use them as learning experiences and to help me realize the best way to handle that situation if it comes up again. The first few times Mike decided to inform me I was taking care of my car incorrectly, I was ticked. It started a fight and I fight dirty. One of the very few things Mike and I have in common is that he fights dirty too. So let me tell you, our house was a ton of fun back in those days! I learned that I needed to just pick my battles. This was something pretty simple that I could do, so now I wash my car two to three times a week. This simple adjustment from me makes him happy which brings me to my next point.
Know the person you are having the conflict with. If you don't know them well you should be able to recognize indicators on how best to approach them, or just ask them. There is no reason why shouldn't be able to stop a conversation heading south and asking the other person how they best like to receive feedback. Some people prefer a direct approach. Some need time to adjust and think about things so they may need to table the discussion for a few days. That's ok too. Many times that is the best way to handle it so passions die down and you both have time to think about things. The key to that approach is at some point you will need to circle back and have the conversation to avoid the issue festering and becoming bigger than it really is.
Even if you know yourself, and can control your reactions, and you know the person you are having conflict with, a heated conflict can still occur. So we are back to our original question, how do you get back to the same page in the book. The hard truth is sometimes you can't. Sometimes there is no middle ground, or no resolution. So how do you deal with that? If the conflict is with someone you can't cut ties with, like family or someone you work with, you just have to let it go and move on. You don't have to be their best friend, but be respectful.
Recently, I went thru situation where I had a fundamental difference of opinion with someone. We just approach things differently. I tend to dive into things, move quickly, look ahead at advancement opportunities. I don't really have a slow down button, unless its something that I don't really care about. If that's the case, I lose interest pretty quickly and move on. In this instance, it was about work. I am pretty passionate about my job and advancing in my career. If I lose interest, I get bored, and I usually jump ship and swim to a different one. That was usually my MO until I landed in pharmacy. Growing in my chosen industry is pretty important to me so when I hear slow down and focus on now I get defensive, deflated, and closed off. So how do I deal with it? I take a breath, take a step back, and reevaluate. I listen to their point of view, what they have to say, and look at my priorities. It all boils down to priorities, right?
Everyone has their own priorities and agendas which leads to conflicts and they may not be able to mesh well. However, most of the time they can co-exist. What is best for me may not be what is best for them, but we do not need to work in tandem. Sometimes working on your own priorities in your own time leads you back to a place where you are on the same page and in the same book again. Unfortunately, sometimes you may never get to that point. It doesn't mean that one of you is right or wrong, just different, and that is ok. My suggestion to you, is if you are going through a conflict with someone, take a step back and try to look at it objectively and ask that they do the same. Is this conflict worth the effort, is it something that you can reach a compromise or that you would even want to. Look at your reaction to the situation and determine what your needs are. Self-reflection is a powerful tool. Lastly, evaluate both of your priorities and if they don't work together now, will they in the future? Or maybe there is an alternative solution that you just haven't come up with.
No matter which road you take, just remember people are more important than jobs, money, and material things. I can't think of any disagreements that are worth throwing away the relationships you have built at work or at home. If you need a reminder to take a moment to self-reflect, take a breath, or just rely on your faith check out our Handcrafted Wood Home Décor Collection for all the inspiration you need. If you just need to relax to help you with that self-reflection visit our Countryside Skincare collection for all your pampering needs.
As always, we welcome your thoughts and stories so please comment below if you would like to share them with us. See you next time.