Conflict is something that every person will have to negotiate at some point in life. There is no way around it. Trust me, I’ve tried. What I’ve learned is that conflict is necessary at times and it can be healthy. I know that sounds crazy since conflict doesn’t seem like much fun. As a black man, I wouldn’t be free if those before me didn’t see conflict as necessary. As a Christian man, Jesus took on conflict at the cross, and I’m glad He saw that as necessary.
But how in the heck do we accomplish healthy conflict and conflict resolution? How can we accomplish this when we have pandemics, protests, and politics at play all around us? What part of this is in our control?
Unfortunately, many people that I’ve coached over the years first look outward for what they think they should control when we have to first look from within. Many can’t see that the way we react to situations can put a chain of events into motion…whether positive or negative. By becoming aware of the three things I discuss below, I was able to see more conflict resolution in my life.
Get Smarter- Emotionally
We put a lot of emphasis on how intelligent we are as people; our intelligence quotient (IQ). I believe that in today’s world we need to put even more emphasis on our emotional quotient (EQ) than our IQ. You can probably recall a story or two about someone our society considers extremely intelligent, but they could have an even greater impact if they were emotionally sound. You and I are no different. We may not have the same platform as they do but our EQ may be inhibiting us from using our IQ to its full potential. Furthermore, our lack of EQ may be causing us to be part of the problem.
Control What You Can- Self
First we have to have self-awareness. We have to understand what our “hot-button” items are and the emotional reactions they cause within us. Then we must come to terms with the ways we could negatively be controlled by our emotional reaction. We must then gain control of that reaction even if that means seeking outside help from friends and professionals.
One of the best quotes that helped shape how I view situations was
“when you lose control, someone else has it!”
I’m not sure who said it to me or who the originator is but that quote left me recalling the times that I lost control of my emotions, then myself, and was actually controlled by someone else in the process. I used the “thing” that caused me to react as justification for my actions. I could easily blame others for “making” me do what I did. I was missing the fact that I gave up control to that person and I submitted to be their emotionally driven puppet.
Do this for me, please. Think about that “hot-headed” friend or family member that we have all had in our lives. If you can’t think of one then that person may have been you (just kidding…kind of). Think about the “hot-button” things that would set them off. Now, you’re probably a good-hearted person, so you never thought about using that “hot-button” thing or things to set them off and get them to do something stupid, but you most likely could, right?
We as people feel that if something is emotionally affecting us, we have a right to react in a negative way and the thing that caused us to react is to blame. We justify. This is a false belief that puts us in a situation to be controlled by others…whether its the person pushing your buttons or its the authorities called to deal with the after effects of your reaction. Either way the outcome is usually negative.
Pick Up The Cues-Social
Another leadership quote that I strive to live by is
“seek first to understand, then be understood!”
Imagine our society if everyone did this. It would be a different world. When you have a sharpened EQ, you will be able to strategically organize others with minimal negative effects on the community around you. It’s true that there is power in numbers so being able to have empathy and understanding the needs, concerns, and positive attributes of others will enable you to get momentum that you need for change.
When you look at a protest situation, the people with low EQ who riot, loot, and break the law bring negative attention that could otherwise be used to amplify the point of the protests. The media becomes enamored with the law breaking and the negative impact on the local economy when that resource could be used to recruit more like minded, high EQ people for change. Furthermore the positive protesters have to take time to explain how they are not like the ones that are rioting when that time could be used in a more positive, productive manner towards resolution.
Having a high EQ doesn’t mean that you should be passive. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. came to mind as I typed that sentence. The point of this discussion is to give you some points to help you navigate setbacks that may prolong or negate the possibility for a positive outcome to a negative situation. Merely trading the potential for a conflict to end with positive resolution for feeling better because you lashed out in anger only creates two conflicts, both with a reduced chance of ending with positive resolution.
I hope this information has enlightened and helped you. Please “heart” this blog and feel free to comment with other ways you eat the foods listed here and other helpful information.
Brian "B-Rob" Robinson is a Certified Sports Nutrition Coach, Certified Personal Trainer, Life Coach, Youtuber, and co-founder of LEANWellonline. His YouTube channel is called thisisb-rob.