Guest column

Got conflict? That’s not necessarily bad

By state Sen. Linda Newell
Posted 10/27/15

Reading the headline, you might first think about someone with a milk mustache, but there is another thing that ALL people have occasionally. Yup, conflict. All of us have experienced conflict at some point. Throughout history, we’ve witnessed …

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Guest column

Got conflict? That’s not necessarily bad

Posted

Reading the headline, you might first think about someone with a milk mustache, but there is another thing that ALL people have occasionally. Yup, conflict. All of us have experienced conflict at some point. Throughout history, we’ve witnessed horrible consequences of conflict becoming violent, yet also ingenious innovation and inventions that started with the presence of conflict.

With October as Conflict Resolution Month in Colorado, it’s a great time to look at conflict in our lives, how we deal with it, and resources to use when in the middle of stagnant, persistent conflict. Not so ironically, it is also National Bullying Prevention Month and National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, so there are numerous resources right now in particular.

Here are some tips on resolving conflict in your own life:

Be preventive - The best way to deal with conflict is to prevent it, if possible. Be proactive and take a short class on conflict management. There are cheap, sometimes free, workshops available in our area. You can gain great techniques to help you prevent escalating conflict, or dealing with your or someone else’s angst or anger.

Take an inventory of the conflict in your life - Many of us walk day-to-day, mildly or grossly tolerant of some angst or conflict in our lives, never really acknowledging it. Living like that can add stress not only psychologically, but also take a toll on your health and even lifespan over time. It only takes a short jaunt to your journal or couch for a few minutes and take an inventory of your relationships and situations in your life that might be adding conflict to your life. Who or what is adding conflict to your life? Write those down TODAY.

Do something about it - If being late to school every day creates conflict in your home at the start of the day, stop it! Set alarms earlier or create a better system for your family so everyone can start their day peacefully. If you’re not talking with your boss about the bullying behavior going on in the office or your cubicle neighbor who’s irritating you, talk to them. Most conflicts can get resolved just by starting the conversation. Better relationships and working environments result just from listening and talking with each other honestly and respectfully.

Get some help - If there is conflict in your life that you feel you can’t resolve on your own, talk to a professional. Whether it’s a dispute with a neighbor, coworker, spouse/former spouse or organization, there are numerous resources right in our area. Conflict coaches, group facilitators and mediators are all ways to find fair scenarios that can move through conflict peacefully … without going to court or dragging your own health down the proverbial toilet.

It’s possible to live peacefully. Believe it. Do something about it. It’s up to you.

Conflict Resolution Month in Colorado: www.conflictresolutionmonth.org/resources/

The Conflict Center: www.conflictcenter.org

Zinn Mediation Associates: www.zinnmediation.com

National Bullying Prevention Month: www.pacer.org/bullying/nbpm/

Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence: www.ccadv.org/resources/

Linda Newell is the state senator of Senate District 26, which includes Littleton, Englewood, Sheridan, Cherry Hills Village, Greenwood Village, west Centennial and parts of Aurora. She can be reached at 303-866-4846, linda.newell.senate@gmail.com or www.senlindanewell.com.

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