Hello loves and welcome back to my blog! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! The time I had off was much deserved and never enough lol. It was nice spending time with my loved ones and hitting the Black Friday sales. Yesss, hunny I was out there shopping in the chaos. I have anxiety and hate being around large crowds, well actually it depends on the environment of the crowd. But, you’d think that atmosphere wouldn’t be for me, but I love shopping in the chaos. It’s a beautiful disaster, but it’s like the first real reminder that Christmas is coming, which is one of my and my son’s favorite holidays. Anyways, I’ve missed you guys and have had some topics that I felt worthy of discussing.
A few weeks ago, a close friend of mine asked me a general question, “How do you confront conflict?”. It wasn’t about a particular situation, it was just a general question. And, it really got my wheels spinning! I mean honestly, how did I handle conflict? Was one of my weaknesses how I was handling the conflict in my life? Is it how I’ve been responding and reacting to situations that have caused me my demise at times? For me, it honestly depends on the situation, who’s involved, and the environment or setting.
I felt like this was a good topic to discuss because with the recent holiday that passed and the holidays coming up, even though, it’s supposed to be cheerful when we’re around our families, it’s not always like that. Sometimes we have that nosy, nebby aunt that always in someone’s business, the jealous cousin, the bougie, snotty family that’s too good for the other family, sibling rivalry, etc. It’s a good time,but sometimes there can be conflict.
Or sometimes, we have conflict within ourselves that has haunted us for a while. With the new year quickly approaching we don’t want to carry conflict into yet another year. We want to go into the new year with peace of mind. So, I thought I would share some of the conflicts I have faced, in different situations and environments, and how I’ve handled it.
Sighs, oh the joys of working with people who get on your nerves. It’s bad enough we spend almost more time at work than we do at home to have to deal with people that we cannot stand on a daily or consistent basis. Dealing with conflict in the workplace is difficult because it’s so political. You have to professionally clapback, be careful who you clap back to, pick and choose your clap back battles wisely, etc. There’s just so many rules involved. If I’m working in a team setting and experience conflict, I try to professionally address it before it escalates into a bigger situation. Depending on who the person is, I may ask them in person or privately speak to my boss about it and have them address it. The last thing I want is to have to prolong an issue throughout the duration of my position or project. When addressing the individual I try to stay calm, listen, and understand their viewpoint and take accountability for anything that I may have done in the situation. I try to find a solution to the root cause, rather than band-aiding it.
One thing I absolutely try to refrain from doing is gossiping! I feel like gossiping is one of the worst things you can do when you have conflict at work. If I need to vent I call a family member or have one person I can talk to about it at work. I don’t trust everyone and I never know who may be a snitch or tatttle tale. Gossiping is frowned upon and you never know who it will get back to.
I’ve personally never had an issue where I’ve had to go to HR, but I have had issues with management in previous positions. Unfortunately, everyone I know that went to HR about a person in management was let go or fired. It was an unfortunate circumstance, but that’s what happened. I’m always careful about going to HR because, it’s supposed to be a safe haven if you will, but those situations haven’t turned out well for people I know. Some have tried to sue, in the event that the company unlawfully fired them, with no avail. It’s almost as if you’re being punished for being a whistle-blower. I know all companies aren’t like that and I’m not saying not to go to HR if you have a reason to do so, but I personally am careful and extra cautious because of the many work politics that worked out in the employee’s favor. In positions I’m unhappy in, I have applied to different positions within the company or to a different company altogether. If it’s not HR worthy in my opinion, I try to bite the bullet until God can get me through it. This may not be the best way to handle conflict, but it’s how I have done so in the past.
Because of this, and the fact that conflict within the workplace arises in every company, especially with many personalities, I avoid telling my business, getting to close to people, and trusting people with certain information. The less people know about you the better off you are.
Unfortunately, sometimes the most difficult type of conflict is within our home. In my personal experience conflict within family hurts the most, is the deepest, causes the most stress, and has the most effect on me than any other type of conflict. This type of conflict involves the most emotions because of the connections that you have with your family members. I find they’re often between your siblings, parents, spouse, children, in-laws, etc. The best way for me to enter this type of conflict is to always be calm. I try to avoid sarcasm, harsh words, or yelling/screaming and focusing on finding a solution. You don’t want to go into a real conversation with your emotions on 10, so being calm is the best way to avoid saying something you don’t really mean and/or can’t take back once it’s been said. I also like to get to the root cause of why I have a conflict with that individual. I try to determine the real reason behind my emotions. It’s important to try and understand the other’s perspective/ point-of-view and why they feel the way they feel, but I do so with compassion and empathy. It’s important to be genuine and open to how a person feels if you’re going to move past the situation. I take accountability for how I made the other person feel, apologize,and move forward. I’ve found that focusing on the past for too long is pointless and crippling. You cannot change the past, only move forward and learning from mistakes. You cannot choose who your family is, so it’s easier to let bygones be bygones and forgive one another and focus on rebuilding your future relationship. Although, some of us like to have the last word, it’s not about winning the argument, who’s right and who’s wrong, it’s about finding the best solution to stop the conflict and move on.
Are you or have you ever been in a battle with yourself? Are you trying to overcome your inner demons? Are your inner demons causing you stress, guilt, shame, discomfort, or other emotions? Are you torn between making a decision about your relationship. career, or lifestyle? Because of this you may thinking illogically or irrationally, experience restlessness, or mind racing thoughts. Conflict within oneself is very challenging and it seems to happen when there’s a disagreement between your heart and mind. I have and still do suffer with internal conflict, often battling what I’ve known to be the norm, how I act and respond vs. what I know is right, and getting over things that have happened to me in the past that I’ve never overcame. Some battles within oneself can be as simple as an indecisive decision about buying a car or the biggest move of their career or bigger battles such as lifestyle changes. Whatever the inner conflict may be, I again have always tried to find the deeper rooted issue behind the why. Why am I having this conflict? What initially caused me to feel this way? Why do I feel so guilty, ashamed, torn etc.? I then try to write down my conflicts so, I can better find a solution.
What I’ve learned is that no matter what the conflict is, conflict is inevitable and unavoidable. What’s important is how we handle it and how we use it to our benefit. While in the middle of conflict or witnessing it firsthand, it can be used as an opportunity to grow within ourselves, find more effective ways to handle it, enhance our communication skills, and learn more about ourselves and/or others. So, I ask what’s a recent situation that you’ve experienced conflict? What did you learn from it? Was the outcome positive? Do you think the way you handle conflict is most effective? Do you notice things you can do to help you resolve conflict more easily? What conflict(s) are you going to find a solution to before the new year?
So, I hope you’ve found this blog post interesting, learned something new, or can relate. I love to share my expereinces and stories, but I also love to hear your thoughts and opinions, to learn from others as well. So, please feel free to drop me a comment below!
Until next time, with love…..