Conflict Resolution In 5 Easy Steps

We tend to avoid conflict because it is too hard or too scary to resolve. Building a spiritual program helps us to approach conflict in a new way.

Compassionate Honesty

Somehow the word honesty has gained itself a complicated relationship with conflict. Typically conflict arises when people are too honest or not honest enough with one another. When someone asks us what is going on after sensing some tension and we say something about being honest, there’s usually a whirlwind of emotions waiting to tear through. Honesty is not the same as venting, or being verbally abusive toward another. Communicating honestly to end a conflict requires compassion. Rather than be “brutally” honest and beat someone with our authentic experience, and rather than lie in order to protect someone, we are compassionately honest. We practice right speech, right action, and kindness. Before communicating ask yourself what Buddha proposed we ask: is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?

Put Some Feeling Into Your Feeling Statements

“I feel…” and “When you…I feel…” are the therapeutic tools many are given for effectively communicating their emotional experiences. Being new to recovery and feelings, it is good to have a method for identifying with and articulating your emotions. However, later on when resolving conflict, identifying feelings through simple assertion will not be enough. Feelings are not facts about a situation. Facts or facts. You are entitled to how you feel about the conflict, but feelings are not the point. Resolving the facts is.

Listen To The Other Side

Conflict resolution would be easy if all we had to do was state our case and move on. The other person would agree with our position and the conflict would be resolved. Unfortunately, humans are a bit more colorful than that so conflict resolution is a bit more complex. There is usually another human involved who has their own unique set of feelings and thoughts. Rather than push your agenda to make sure you win this situation out, recognize there is no endgame. Resolving conflict is about gaining peace wisdom and understanding. Understanding won’t come unless you take the time to truly listen to what the other person is saying. Did you hear what they said? Ask again. You might learn something you can improve.


Refuge Recovery is a buddhist based treatment program offered to men and women suffering from an attachment to addiction as well as other mental health issues. We believe buddhism has an answer to end suffering and enlighten a new way of living. From detox to transitional care, Refuge offers a level of care for everyone. Call or text us today for more information 323-207-0276.

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