However well we get on with someone, arguments will happen from time to time. People have different personalities, tastes, and ways of thinking so we won’t always agree on things. But there are a few things we can do to avoid some of the conflict we end up in. 1) Think before you speak. We need to ask ourselves if fear, stress, or worry may have caused someone to respond to us in a negative way. Or are we responding badly to others because we’re feeling insecure and unappreciated? Sometime we can misread the situation or exaggerate the problem. So we need to take time to think about what’s happening before we jump in and respond. 2) Ask for what you need. Other people aren’t mind-readers. They won’t automatically know what’s wrong or how they can help us if we don’t tell them. We need to communicate our needs and issues with other people in a calm and honest way. 3) Never threaten. Threats just make others defensive and insecure. So they end up switching off from what we’re saying and can get angry which leads us straight into conflict. 4) Get rid of the baggage from the past. The Bible says, ‘Love…always looks for the best…never looks back’ (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 MSG). It’s easy to remember past hurts. Maybe a friend betrayed our trust or someone let us down. But we can’t assume that everyone is going to do that to us. It’s not fair on them, and it stops us from having good relationships with other people. 5) Say something nice. Our communication with others should be full of positivity. We should be building each other up. Sharp words can create wounds, but ‘a gentle response defuses anger.’
Which of the five points do you need to work on in your communication with others? For the rest of the week, try and improve your communication in that area.