How Our World Views Peace!!
Our idea of a peaceful world is one absent from conflict. This definition seems a little bit insane. There will always be conflict in our life. We can try to run away from it, but it will still find us. So if we know that the absence of conflict in our life is impossible, why is that our view on what peace really means?
Here are different ways that people deal with conflict. Learning to have different strategies for different situations in life will help all of us to get along more and create a more peaceful place to live. Eventually leading us all to learn how to “lovefront” with others.
Different Ways to Deal With Conflict
There are 5 different ways that people deal with conflict.
- Right-Wrong – This is where there is always one person who is right in the conflict and one person is wrong. There is black and white and no gray area about the situation. They see there conflict as a competition. They think that the person that disagrees with them is automatically wrong. There is no flexibility in this situation. This situation is very low on cooperativeness. The outcome is usually a harsh situation in which the relationship suffers.
- Avoidance – On the opposite side of the spectrum is someone that wants avoid conflict altogether. They assume that all conflict is bad for the relationship, so they spend a lot of time keeping the peace at all cost. Sometimes this approach is a good idea, when the situation is not important enough to argue about. Other times it can be very harmful to the person who is avoiding the conflict. They might have feelings of anger or sadness about the situation that they are holding onto inside. This can cause personal damage to that person as well as well as to the relationship. People who avoid conflict altogether usually have superficial relationships that never grow deeper than surface level.
- Giving-In – This person gives into the stronger person to keep the peace in the relationship. These people tend to be a “people-pleaser.” Being someone who gives in is a good idea when you need to keep the peace in a situation. Overuse of this type of conflict resolution can lead to being taken advantage of or people not listening to your point of view anymore. This strategy if overused can lead to a relationship where one person is in charge all the time and the other person is the push over. This type of relationship is unhealthy. The hard part is knowing when to give in and when to stand your ground.
- Compromise – These are people that realize that their point of view will not always win in a conflict. They tend to think that everyone needs to give a little sometimes in order for others to give back as well. This is a good strategy when both sides are really heated about their view points and nobody seems to want to budge. The art of learning to agree to disagree. This type of strategy means that both sides must be willing to compromise and meet in the middle, and that is not always possible. This can lead to both parties being unhappy because they had to settle on their view point and come to a decision that doesn’t seem right to them. Also, overuse of this strategy creates cyncism and low trust because you are always giving in.
- Lovefronting – Instead of confronting people in a harsh way, you let them know that you disagree with their view point in a loving way. This takes time and effort. It is okay to NOT agree with others around you, but if they are sinning it is NOT okay to stay quiet (Matthew 18:15-17). This is where we as Christians get ourselves into trouble. We think that this verse gives us a pass to say what we feel at all times. Jesus didn’t throw people “under the bus,” for their incorrect actions. He would tell them that what they were doing was wrong in a way that helped them to grow in a new direction. Sometimes he even took the time to help them change their ways. Instead of just telling someone, “your wrong,” think about how you could help them to change their view point. If nothing works, just keep praying for them. Everyone is different in this world and I think that we need to go about changing it in LOVE rather than through conflict.
How About You??
Everyone has conflict in their life. How you deal with it tells you what kind of life you will have. The right kind of conflict resolution can lead to deeper and stronger relationships.
Which kind of conflict resolution strategy do you find you use the most? How can you start to implement different kinds of strategies and ultimately use the Lovefronting strategy more? Please comment below.