If you’re in a lockdown with your family or housemates, conflict WILL arise. But there are healthy conflict resolution tools you can use to turn this challenge into an opportunity for better connection, peace and even joy.
“For example, if I yell at someone, ‘Put away your damn dishes!’ it probably won’t be received well. Though instructive, the energy isn’t constructive. It will more likely be fought.
Angry expressions like this typically mean that there is an unmet need beneath the words. While it’s okay to express some anger in a healthy way, the energy associated with this request doesn’t set the stage for healthy conflict resolution.
Being able to access, process and heal the underlying energies associated with a request will lead to a better outcome!
Some communication styles have a recommended outline; for example, state your feelings first, then the specific action that brought those feelings up, and then verbalize the request and how you’ll feel different if that request is honored:
‘I feel sad when you leave the dishes out. So please put them away, so I don’t feel sad.’
While logical and often effective, to me there’s an element of disempowerment at play. I’m giving some of my power away by stating that what that person does or doesn’t do is responsible for my feelings. The words or actions of others may trigger me, but those wounds were already there ripe for the poking.
To put any form of blame or responsibility on the other person isn’t fair to them. By owning our responses, we can instead say, ‘I feel sad when you leave the dishes out. I’m not asking you to do anything differently. I’m just stating how I’m feeling.’ No blame. No request. Just a statement of fact. I could even add, ‘I’m aware that your (in)action is bringing to the surface some unresolved wounding of the past, and for that I thank you.’ How do you think that may be received? A little better than ‘Put away your damn dishes!’ yes?
With presence and self-awareness, I’ve just managed to state what’s true without blame. In my experience, this type of request is often received by the other person as an opportunity to do something nice for you. No one likes to be told what to do, but in this way, the recipient may follow your nudge without resentment.”
Excerpt from “Empathipedia: Healing for Empaths & Highly Sensitive Persons”