2. MASTER THE ART OF LISTENING. If we fail to show others respect by listening to them, we shouldn’t be surprised if they show us the same discourtesy. Ask for clarification if you don’t understand.
3. LIMIT THE DISCUSSION of the conflict to the here and now issue. Don’t drag out yesterday’s (or last year’s!) dirty laundry.
4. USE “I” MESSAGES in making your point and expressing your emotions. This not only allows you to take responsibility for your feelings, but also it allows the other person to hear about your feelings without feeling defensive. “You” messages tend to be perceived as attacks and criticism.
5. AVOID EXAGGERATIONS such as “always”, “never”, etc. Such statements are very seldom true, simply because as inconsistent human beings we very seldom “always” or “never” do anything.
6. AVOID CHARACTER ASSASSINATION (name calling and put-downs) Pointing out character flaws or demeaning another person will do nothing but stir up greater disharmony.
7. USE APPROPRIATE WORDS AND ACTIONS for the matter at hand. Not all arguments are with fighting at peak volume.
8. DON’T BE CONCERNED ABOUT WINNING OR LOSING the argument. It’s better if both parties can be more concerned about resolving the conflict rather than who “wins” or “loses”.
9. DETERMINE LIMITS. Comments which are hurtful or damaging must be avoided.
10. CHOOSE TO FORGIVE. All people fail. If we don’t give others a chance to start over after failure, our relationships will suffer. Complete forgiveness may take time, depending on the degree of hurt caused by the other person. However, it’s important to have an attitude of forgiveness and keep asking God to help you get to the point where you can truly forgive.
Which one of these do you struggle with the most and why?