3 Tips for Resolving Disagreements October 11, 2016 09:00

3 Tips for Resolving Disagreements

A few days ago, my husband, Ryan, and I heard music coming from the bathroom. Our son was in the shower, so Ryan knocked on the door and went in to investigate.

It turns out our teenage son had a phone in the bathroom to listen to music while he showered. Unfortunately, he had the phone in the shower with him.

Seriously. The phone was in the shower.

When asked, our son told us, "It's okay because I have it wrapped in a dry washcloth."

Not kidding.

This, my friends, is why I have a monthly standing appointment at the salon to get my gray hair colored. 

While I've never taken a phone into the shower, I have made plenty of other mistakes in my lifetime. Unfortunately, the ones that have caused the most regret involve hurting other people. I've said harmful things to family members and friends during disagreements that I've wished I could take back.

Words can't be taken back, however. They can't just be removed like we removed our son's phone from the shower. We need to be careful what we say during disagreements so we don't ruin a relationship. 

Here are a few tips for resolving disagreements effectively:

Don't Speak When You're Angry

We say things we may not mean when we're angry. It's important to take a step back, cool off, and then decide how to respond. 

Leave the situation if necessary, or sleep on it. If you're angry, you need the time to sort through the situation before you respond. You're less likely to say regretful things if you wait until you are no longer angry.

Carefully Consider What to Say

Once you're calm, it's important to take the time to formulate what you want to say. Word selection is paramount, so use caution when deciding on your response. 

Look at the situation from all angles, and be gracious but honest.

Move Forward

Once you have resolved a disagreement, don't linger on it. Dwelling on it won't make it disappear. Figure out how best to move forward, and then do that.

Our son learned that if he wants to listen to music in the shower, he needs to leave the phone outside the shower. He is moving forward and not dwelling on his mistake.

We must do the same in our relationships.

 

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