Turning Point

Transforming problems into opportunities.

A First Step to Resolve Your Conflict

When facing conflict, we often experience anxiety, fear, or anger. Conflicts often hijack our lives and disempower us. But it doesn't have to be that way. We can learn from mediators, who see conflict as positive and as an opportunity for growth and change. What questions do we need to ask ourselves for a more positive experience when we are faced with conflict? Read More

Changing our views on conflict

In addition to acknowledging that there will always be conflicts we cannot avoid because conflict is natural in everyone's life, I like to remind participants in my conflict resolution programs that: a) they resolve conflicts everyday without thinking about it and b) it's more powerful to learn to resolve conflict skillfully than to buy into the false belief that all conflict can be avoided. As you said, conflicts can disempower us. However, we actually give our power away to conflict in various ways. Once we realize this, we can reclaim it and use it masterfully to create ways over, under, around, and through conflicts. :)

I look forward to reading more of your columns! Have a powerful day!

Re: Changing our views on conflict

Nance, thank you for your comment. You are so right! We constantly resolve conflicts every day. As we go through life, we also unsconsciously learn how to deal with them, how to resolve them, how to manage them. And sometimes, because some conflicts affect us emotionally more, we just forget the power we have, and we give it up. And yet, reminding ourselves that we are the masters of ourselves, just gives us that power back and puts us in a positive, constructive state of mind. The conflict is not the problem. Our attitudes towards conflict can be.

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Aldo Civico, Ph.D., is an anthropologist and a conflict resolution expert. He is an anthropology professor at Rutgers University and the founder of The International Institute for Peace.

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