Conflict. The mere word is enough to get your blood pressure up in the danger zone with your palms sweatier than a 7th grader at her first dance.
Conflict can be a means to social change. It can get stuff out on the table with a proactive flair. It can help air differences before they detonate. And conflict can help you widen your point of view & see different perspectives.
Conflict can also be wretched; like having a Brazilian wax over your whole body. It can leaves scars that last for years.
Conflict is a continuum. From bring it on, I’m psyched, I’ma Isht disturber to oh no, no way, no how, get me outta here. Wherever you fall on that continuum, you definitely have feelings about conflict.
Your body knows how you feel about conflict but does your brain? Do you know how you generally feel about conflict (regardless of what the specific conflict is about)? Here’s a chance to think on that. And then see what others have to say.
Here are two could-not-be-easier ways to do that. In fact they’re so easy you’ll be tempted to dismiss them. Do not do that. They are tried & true & totally work.
- Breathe out longer than you breathe in. If you breathe in to a count of 3 then breathe out for longer, like say 6 counts. Seriously, by doing this you bypass your body’s flight, flight or freeze response. You can find some calm in the tempest teapot.
- Smile. It tricks your brain into releasing endorphins, & you’ll feel better instantly. Confession: I’ve been known to do this while driving alone in my car, bawling like a baby over a conflict yet with a big grin on my face. It feels odd but it works.
Important caveat to #2: This technique is NOT to be misinterpreted as you only have to put on a happy face & the world will be all better. Nope. It’s a technique for use in the moment.
Conflict arouses all sorts of feelings & these feelings have a dramatic ability on your ability to resolve the conflict. My prescription for you, next time you feel like you’re drowning in conflict is;
- Breathe out longer than you breathe in
If you follow these two tips your brain & body will be in the right place & space. You can move on to the specific prescription that fits your specific conflict situation.
Need some more tips on how to manage tricky situation so you can get onto doing your best work?
You need to be in on Working Better Together, my online course happening September 12th. More info & how to sign up here.