Tips For Life

By Alan Bailey

Handling conflict

There are endless reasons why conflict with another person can arise.

Handling conflict

There are endless reasons why conflict with another person can arise. Some people start an argument simply because they are tired and can’t cope. With others, anger and frustration build up inside them over time and they transfer these feelings to someone near to them. Misunderstandings, lack of communication, selfish ambition, basic personality disorders, differing temperaments and outlook can all produce conflict between people. We all know what it is to be caught in conflict.

Common outcomes are; slugging it out verbally and perhaps physically as we saw recently with James packer and Bruce Gyngell; withdrawing into sulky silence; or repressing the hurt and living in denial, none of which solves anything.

Analysing a situation
Conflicts will often continue to an unresolved stalemate. Both sides are convinced they are in the right. How can peace ever be regained?

If the two at war can’t see their way through the minefield, a third party may be able to point out the following:

  • Any other factors besides the obvious ones that are causing anger.
  • To what degree each side desires peace.
  • That there are hurts both parties are feeling because of the argument.
  • How cool heads can work quietly at resolution or at agreeing to differ amicably.
  • An apology of some sort from either party can help towards resolution.

Swiss psychologist, Paul Tournier says: “Life’s problems are not like algebraic equations which can be turned in every way all over the page until the final answer X=25 is worked out at the bottom. The solution of a life problem is always dependent upon a new awakening of the conscience, a change in attitude, a growth in personality.”

A way ahead
The most important step to take for us all is submission to God. He wants to be Lord and King over our lives, but sadly we want to carry on a conflict and keep Him out. So what is God’s answer? Jesus took our faults, our sins and made them His own. Patiently He carried them to the cross and paid the penalty for them. This calls for the “new awakening, a change in attitude” mentioned above. God has made His move. Are we prepared to make ours? Having peace with God is priceless and helps immensely in having peace with others in our lives.

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