“Peace is not the absence of conflict. It is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.”
In conflict resolution training, we’re taught the presenting issue between the parties is not the actual issue. What is really driving the conflict is their competing interests, which inform each side’s position on “the issue.”
One guy wants to change public opinion about his sketchy reputation, for instance, and that’s why he’s really demanding a public apology from the company. The other guy wants share prices to return to the level before he became CEO, and that’s why he’s refusing to acknowledge anything publicly. (A skilled mediator can help them find a way to manage the public resolution of the conflict, boosting both their reputations, thus solving both interests.)
When it comes to family, however, there is something even more powerful than the issue, or the interests–the nature of the relationship itself. A couple of questions to consider:
–Is this conflicted relationship one you want to continue, even after “the issue” gets resolved? If so, then how you conduct yourself during the conflict matters more than anything, ‘cos that’s what will be remembered.
–If your “opponent” in this conflict suddenly gave you everything you think you deserve, would that actually solve the issue? If not, then resentment is a problem that must get addressed.
–If this issue never got resolved, could you live with this relationship as is? If so, then drop it.
Peace begins with pause,