Disagreements are a normal part of any relationship. But when they drag on or are not handled well they can take a toll on us and leave us exhausted. Here are some things to keep in mind.
Think ahead as to what outcome you are looking for because that can determine what approach you take. For example maybe your boss has asked you to take on extra work and you don't think this is fair. You have to decide do you simply want your boss to know that you don't feel this fair and in the future this won't be acceptable or do you want your boss to know that this is not fair and you won't be taking on extra work.
Form your conversation in such a way that you do not put the other person on the defensive. A great way to do this is by using "I" statements.
Listen! Listen to the other person's perspective of the situation. Listening is the most important aspect of communication. Many times we are so anxious to get our point across or already composing a response in our head that we are not really listening or taking in what the other person is saying.
Disagreements with your Spouse
Because of the intimate nature of a romantic relationship we tend to argue with our partners in the worst way. We say things we would never say to a friend let alone a stranger!
Disagreements between spouses often end up in a blame game. Which is where many couples get stuck and find themselves unable to resolve things. So the first thing to do is take blame out of the equation.
Cool off - if you are really angry about something take time to cool off. Taking time will also give you some perspective and then discuss the subject when you are both calm. And if you are calm you'll have the ability to listen, and you most likely won't say things you will regret. When we yell we say many things we may not say otherwise.
Stay on topic - many times with our partners we start our conversation about one thing but we can quickly bring in many other things that we are not happy with. And in that situation nothing gets resolved. Keep focused on the topic.
Compromise - think about what is best for the relationship and be willing to be flexible. This will be difficult if "winning" or being "right" is important to you. Power struggles are detrimental to compromise and only undermine the other person. If you compromise you are creating a "win-win" situation.
Remain open - Listen to your spouse (that is the most important part of communicating) paraphrase what they are saying so both of you are clear that you understand each other.
Finally, realize that things may not get resolved in that one conversation, agree to come back to it if you need to. Perhaps both of you need to think it about it more.
Disagreements with Co-Workers
Sometimes we spend more time with our co-workers than we do with our own family! So, when things aren't going well at work it can really take its toll both emotionally and mentally.
Here are some tips on how to handle conflict with a co-worker:
Face to face - set up a meeting face to face with your co-worker but do it on neutral territory, take it out of the office.
Language- use "I" statements when explaining your point of view. This will help your co-worker not feel defensive.
Keep it professional - keep the conversation on a professional level and don't bring in a personal element into the discussion.
Solution - ask your co-worker for their opinion, invite them to be part of the solution.
Get help - if the conflict continues bring in a third party to act as a mediator (that could be anyone from a manager or someone from Human Resources)
Disagreements with Neighbours
Your home should be your sanctuary, but if you in conflict with your neighbour it can feel anything but that. Little things usually escalate between neighbours, so when the smaller things start to bother you, it's best to nip it in the bud. Great neighbours can easily become great friends sometimes.
Timing is everything - find a good time to talk to your neighbour, don't do it when you happen to see them coming home from work, they may not have time to talk or really take in what you have to say. Call your neighbour and find out when they have time to chat.
Don't assume - they may not have a clue that they have done something to upset you. In your approach give them the benefit of the doubt.
Container - keep your issues contained between you and your neighbour don't involve other people unnecessarily or let your issues become neighbourhood gossip.
Understanding - Try to understand your neighbour's perspective, that doesn't mean you have to agree with them or discount your own feelings but it can bring you to a solution much quicker.