The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. – Elie Wiesel
They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel. – Carl W. Buechner
Today, we are reviewing OML Day 12: Boxing Ring – Resolving Conflicts by Fighting Fair.
No one really prepares us how to confront and resolve conflict. I think there should be a required class in school every year that teaches these lessons. I think it should also be a prerequisite in college every year and we should each have a certain number of hours earned with this education before we are to get married or to go into business with someone. Perhaps an ongoing CCRCE (Continuing Confrontation & Resolving Conflict Education) throughout our lives would be of great benefit, annually, just to stay up-to-date. I mean, it’s tough to know when to stand your ground and when to throw in the towel, right?
The Bible establishes principles on lovingly confronting. It lays the ground rules. It doesn’t mean you will win every argument and be right in every fight. What it does is it teaches you to fight fair and gain strength in your relationships through healthy confrontation.
Maybe the most important thing you can do when confronting conflict is being able to stay in the ring and off the ropes until you’ve both reached resolution. It’s not an easy thing to do, but if you want to make it through the conflict and further the relationship, you must have the stamina to come to a resolution.
There are several types of fighters. Rope-a-dope fighters are “no way” resolvers, people who say, “There’s no way you’re getting me into a fight.” They avoid conflict, refuse to engage, and retreat when emotions arise. Avoiding conflict at all costs undermines the relationship, keeping it shallow and fear based. Intimacy comes from working through tough issues.
The knockout artist says “It’s my way or the highway.” This person fights until they win. They always have to be right and have their way every time. Relationships suffer, because the other person goes down for the count, they aren’t allowed a voice and will eventually quit trying.
The take-the fall fighter throws in the towel early. They are always first to give in, becoming doormats, martyrs, rolling over and playing dead. Rosebud! 😉 Not a healthy way to fight.
The one-two puncher is the give-and-take resolution. I give in some and you give in some. It’s a healthier way to resolve conflict, but, perhaps, not the best.
The best style is the sparring partner, the person committed to being a team player. They stay in the ring and they don’t give in until reaching a mutual decision that benefits both.
Remember the ground rules when it comes to confronting: Have a fair fight by no punching below the belt, no gouging, no tripping, and . . . no biting. 😉 Remind the other person that you are committed to finding a resolution together and you are committed to the relationship, be it a marriage, friendship, or co-worker.
Boxers use mouth guards for protection, as well we should before taking part in any conflict. Choose your words carefully. Words cut like a knife and you don’t want to harm the other person. You want to reach a resolution, without scars. Some wounds never completely heal, so take precautions. It’s not only about saying the right thing at the right time. It’s also leaving unsaid the wrong thing in the heat of the moment. Agree at the start that some words are off-limits, like divorce, hate, loser. Attack the issues, not each other. Don’t play the blame game. Try not to use profane or abusive language. These words show not only a lack of intellect, but they clog useful and effective communication. Don’t bring up things from the past. History is just that. Leave it there and discuss the current conflict and immediate issues only.
You won’t always reach an agreement, as there is no way for two people to always agree on everything. But you can agree to disagree. You are allowed to carry your own feelings and you should allow the other person to express theirs, as well. A mutual respect for each other is sometimes all you need to move on. If that’s the case, rather than focusing on resolution, focus more on reconciliation. Your relationship is more important than agreeing on everything. You can walk hand-in-hand without seeing eye-to-eye. Split decisions allow for, and even appreciate, the unique perspective you each bring to the conflict.
And the absolute most important key to any conflict is always bring God into the ring with you. Rather than asking God to help you win this fight, ask him to help you both fight fair to reach a healthy resolution. It’s ok to get angry. Jesus got angry. Just have control over your anger. Don’t let the anger control you.
Make it a spectacular Monday! Love ya! *hug*