I witnessed a tiff between two of my colleagues in the morning. The issue was very small but they made a mountain out of a molehill. They fought childishly, blamed each other, refused to see where they went wrong. To put it very briefly, it was quite disgusting to see two thirty-plus year olds fighting like immature kids. In fact, kids today are much more mature.
Both of them were as wrong as much as they much as they were right from their own points of view. Both had their own constraints and faults. The issue came up to our Boss, who very expertly handled it to make them realize why the whole issue had happened and where they went wrong. The entire process took 2 hours. At the end of it, did they or any of them realize what went wrong? I doubt.
They are still adamant on their stand. Each one thinks he/she was right. Maybe their feelings were hurt by the other. Or maybe it was their ego. Each could have sobered down to make the other understand but they did not. Why should I? Is what each one of them said. The realization needs to come from within. And that needs a certain level of maturity.
Why do conflicts happen? Why do we fight? Why do we develop ill feelings for others? We don’t like getting hurt. We don’t like listening to strong words. We don’t like being targeted or dominated upon. At the end of it all, it is our ego that dominates us.
We meet all kinds of people in our daily lives — Smart, over-smart, cunning, stupid, slow, dominating, intelligent. All of them won’t behave the way we want them to. Does that mean we will get into arguments with everyone and spread ill feelings?
By being aware and following some steps, we can avoid conflicts in our daily life:
Be logical: Put forward your point with logic and rationale behind them. No one can defy logic. If you have a rationale behind what you are saying, the person on the opposite side will tend to understand. People do not understand demands and whims and fancies of others. Make the other person understand your point of view with valid reasons.
No anger, please: It is true that anger is our biggest enemy. Many a relations have broken and damage done because of harsh words. Anger can cause irreparable damage. Don’t most of us say things in anger which we didn’t really mean? Don’t we ourselves think about it the next day and realize that we shouldn’t have said so? Take a pause and think before speaking out.
Keep your cool: Irrespective of the emotions the other party might be provoking. This is a difficult task but can be done with conscious practice. By reacting, we immediately lose our stature and logical reasoning. This may either undermine your stand or aggravate the conflict further.
Know the key to the lock: Each person is different and needs to be handled differently. One key doesn’t open all locks. One tactic cannot work on all individuals. Different people get motivated in different ways. Different people have different ego levels. Some are more down to earth than others. These differences tell us that to tackle each individual in this world, there is a unique technique.
Leave your egos aside: Ego blinds us and makes us unreasonable. We often forget why we started a conversation once it becomes dysfunctional. Whatever logic we started with also evaporates. Set aside your ego and think from the other’s point of view too. Do not behave in a certain way because your ego is prompting you to. I assure you, you will look back at your ego clashes and think — Gee, was that me?
Target the issue, not the individual: Do not get personal. Address the issue and its difficulties, not the individual and his deficiencies. The moment you get personal, an individual tends to get defensive or could be hurt. And then the blame game and pointing fingers starts. Focus only on the issue and bring it to a logical conclusion, without offending anyone.
Do not bring in past issues: Do not bring out past grudges against an individual. The past issues are solved and forgotten. This chapter is new, not to be linked to any other past incident. It goes without saying – do not hold grudges at all. Holding grudges spoils relations and creates unnecessary bitter feelings that we can live without.
Put yourself in other person’s shoes: You cannot do this unless you come out of yours. What if you were stuck in the same situation? See the same situation from his point of view and see his constraints. Is he being genuine? Can you do anything to make his job easier? Help him to help you.
We fail to realize that we are all humans. If we do not like being spoken badly to, we should know what impact our rude words will have on others. Let us be aware of the impact our actions will have on others before we take any step in impulse. After all, we have only one life.
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