“Conflict is not only inevitable, it’s good,” says
Puhn. “It means
that two people
perspectives. ” “Often the worst fights are the ones where … someone wants to flee and someone wants to fight.” Instead, sit down, take a few deep
breaths and ask whoever you are in conflict
with to do the same. If either of you can’t
manage to do so, try a few of the activities
listed in the sidebar. If you are still upset, per-
haps it’s not the right time to talk.
2. Play detective. Find out how the
other person thinks and feels by asking questions such as “What do you think happened?”
and “Am I missing something?” “When you
play detective you don’t make assumptions,
you collect information,” says Puhn. “The
goal is not to have the same fight you always
have, with no resolution. It’s exhausting and it
takes a toll.” Stay open-minded. Otherwise,
you’ll just end up having the same argument
with no resolution again.
3. Show you are listening. After
you collect information, summarize what you
heard—for example, “You’re saying it happened because of X, Y or Z.” Then you are free
to share your own perspective.
4. Make an agreement. The goal of
a good fight is not to win but to agree on a
future plan of action so that the same error,
mistake or problem doesn’t erupt again.
“Research shows that if you participate in
coming up with a solution you are much
more likely to comply with it,” says Puhn. “At
the end of a good fight, you feel relief because
there is a compromise.” C
Chrystle Fiedler writes about health topics for
many national publications.
The Costco Connection
Costco and Costco.com carry a variety of
stress-reducing items (see “Dealing with
adrenaline overload,” below), including
exercise equipment, gardening tools and
calming herbs and teas as well as books
on health and well-being.
BEING IN CONFLICT triggers adrenaline overload or what is known as flooding. “Flooding makes you stressed,
[which can give] you a pounding headache [or] even an ulcer,” says Andra
Medea, the creator of The Virtual
Tranquilizer, an individualized plan to
manage stress. “It can also make you
wired, which interferes with sleep and
leaves you drained.” The following
activities can help lower your adrenaline
level and make stress more manageable.
Give yourself time and space. Flooding
can make you feel claustrophobic, so take
a quick walk. Just a few minutes away
from your desk will help.
Breathe fresh air.
Open a window and lean outside. Fresh
air in particular can help to chase away
that trapped, claustrophobic feeling.
Go to the gym.
One of the fastest ways to burn off adrenaline and stop flooding is to work the
large muscles in the legs, arms and torso.
Dig in the garden.
Gardening works your large muscles,
and there is a microbe in freshly turned
earth that will help to lift your mood.
Vacuum the house.
The large-muscle action will help clear
Play with the kids and the dog.
It’s active and will reconnect you with
the good things in life.
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