RECONCILIATION – THE NEED OF THE HOUR: EXPECTING DENIAL

Person 1 – “Hey, I’m sorry for it all. This shouldn’t have happened. Would you forgive me for behaving the way I did?”

Person 2 – “Well, it’s good that you realize it. After some tussle within, I had forgiven you in my heart. And, now I tell you the same. Don’t repeat it again with anyone else.”

Person 1 – “Hoooofff! I’m relieved. Now that we are friends again, let’s go hiking this Saturday.”

Person 2 – “I hold nothing against you in my heart. But, the whole episode has left a bitter taste in my mouth. I don’t think it’s possible to go back to old times. We can’t be friends anymore.”

Person 1 – “How can you say that? I mean . . . we’ve been friends for decades and then this happens and you decide to walk away after saying that you’ve forgiven me. We’ve got to be friends again to prove that actually, all is well between us and that you have indeed forgiven me.”

Person 2  – “Sorry, forgiving doesn’t mean you and I need to be friends again. It simply means that I hold no grudge against you now. If ever we crossroads in life in the future, it’ll be in a clean-slate mode. No past record will hold either you or me hostage. However, I am not comfortable going back to being friends with you.”

Person 1 – “You can give it a chance. You could try trusting me once more.”

Person 2 – “That’s not something which I want to do. And, you need to respect that.”

Person 1 – “Initially, I was doubtful as to whether you would forgive me in the first place. But, I was relieved to know that I stand forgiven. But, I guess, I became a bit too ambitious by expecting more. Somebody said rightly, ‘Actions have consequences’.”

Person 2 – “Rightly said, ‘Actions have consequences.’ I can’t trust you with myself anymore.”

Person 1 – “Well then, here we part. I lost a friend. Good tidings to you!”

Person 2 – “Good tidings to you, too!”

This is a conversation between two friends involved in a conflict. Though there is forgiveness, there is no reconciliation. The reason being a denial of one party to the conflict, to restore old ties.

Once bitten twice shy – is an old saying. A requirement of reconciliation is two agreeing parties. This does not always happen. No matter for whatever reasons there is denial, it ought to be respected after an initial attempt to reason out.

Relationships cannot and should not be forcibly restored. The denying party has a right to personal space unless convinced otherwise.

This is true especially in case of a divorce between a married couple or a break-up after a romantic stint since deep-rooted emotions are involved in the relationship-building-up phase.

Hence the bottom line is that on the path to Reconciliation, one may face a roadblock called Denial. It has to be confronted with Reason. If Reason succeeds in displacing Denial with Convincing, Reconciliation is a short distance away. However, if Reason fails, the process needs to come to an end with due respect for the personal right to space being provided.

If the process of Reconciliation comes to an end without the desirous result, one way to resort to is prayer. Persistent prayer of faith changes situations and transforms hearts. It doesn’t breach the space of the other, yet continues its relentless persuasion.

CONFLICT RESOLUTION: A REVIEW

In the Mega article last Sunday, Rajnandini has already made it very clear about the issue of conflicts and how to tackle it wisely. In the following days we added few more to that list. And I always recapitulate by adding little more to the things that we had already discussed throughout the week. But this time my plan was bit different. I thought of writing a review on another article which is not part of Candles Online.

I was reading an article “Conflict Resolution Skills” in a site which I would like to mention here. I have quoted few portions of the original article below that I thought to be very important for all of us:

Healthy and unhealthy ways of managing and resolving conflict
Unhealthy responses to conflict: Healthy responses to conflict:
An inability to recognize and respond to the things that matter to the other person The capacity to recognize and respond to the things that matter to the other person
Explosive, angry, hurtful, and resentful reactions Calm, non-defensive, and respectful reactions
The withdrawal of love, resulting in rejection, isolation, shaming, and fear of abandonment A readiness to forgive and forget, and to move past the conflict without holding resentments or anger
An inability to compromise or see the other person’s side The ability to seek compromise and avoid punishing
The fear and avoidance of conflict; the expectation of bad outcomes A belief that facing conflict head on is the best thing for both sides

Wonderfully described… Isn’t it?

The writer has also given the tips for managing & resolving conflicts which I have stated as under:

  • Listen for what is felt as well as said. When we listen we connect more deeply to our own needs and emotions, and to those of other people. Listening also strengthens us, informs us, and makes it easier for others to hear us when it’s our turn to speak.
  • Make conflict resolution the priority rather than winning or “being right.” Maintaining and strengthening the relationship, rather than “winning” the argument, should always be your first priority. Be respectful of the other person and his or her viewpoint.
  • Focus on the present. If you’re holding on to grudges based on past resentments, your ability to see the reality of the current situation will be impaired. Rather than looking to the past and assigning blame, focus on what you can do in the here-and-now to solve the problem.
  • Pick your battles. Conflicts can be draining, so it’s important to consider whether the issue is really worthy of your time and energy. Maybe you don’t want to surrender a parking space if you’ve been circling for 15 minutes, but if there are dozens of empty spots, arguing over a single space isn’t worth it.
  • Be willing to forgive. Resolving conflict is impossible if you’re unwilling or unable to forgive. Resolution lies in releasing the urge to punish, which can never compensate for our losses and only adds to our injury by further depleting and draining our lives.
  • Know when to let something go. If you can’t come to an agreement, agree to disagree. It takes two people to keep an argument going. If a conflict is going nowhere, you can choose to disengage and move on.

 This article is a great article which I thought needed to be read for our help.

Keep reading and keep commenting…

Stay Blessed!!!

“I” & “MY”


O
ur life is full of conflict. In human life, conflict has a beginning point but there is no end of it. The day we start making relationship (not only love), we get into conflict. It may be conflict in ideas, may be in words, may be in works, etc. But the most cold-blooded part of the existence of conflict in our life is that we often go to the graveyard still holding conflict with our fellow human beings.

Even though I understand the meaning of ‘Conflict’ but still before writing this article I looked into the dictionary definition of conflict and my dictionary says, “Conflict is a clash of disagreement, often violent, between opposing groups or individuals.” The last four words of this definition reminded me of my recent most embarrassing experience.

Last week, one evening while I was returning from office three guys got into the same bus – probably two of them were in their thirties and one in his twenties. After few minutes all three guys started blaring at one another and within a few minutes that blaring turned to fighting. This fighting continued till the bus stopped at the next traffic. When the bus stopped at the traffic signal all of them ran to the road and started beating one another. One person hit the younger one with a bag of iron rods and injured him seriously. Of course they were caught by the traffic police but when we co-passengers started enquiring about the fact of the incident, we found a very silly reason. The reason was that unknowingly the younger one’s shoe touched one person’s pant and he started shouting at him with slangs. When the third person tried to solve the case, another man (the person who used slangs first) immediately used the same slangs to this person also. Meanwhile while this young fellow started calling his gang for show-off. And this act of the young man added masala to the whole drama.

This bad experience of mine taught me two major reasons of conflict;

  1. I”: In every conflict the “I” person contributes more. He acts like pouring petrol to a burning jungle. In every conflict, everyone tries to prove himself/herself – “I am Right”. No one tries to humbly accept his/her fault rather everyone tries to put forward reasons after reasons to prove them. Instead of bringing solution to the conflict we encourage to fight more furiously. Everyone feels like loser/weak to say sorry and accept his own fault. Every conflict needs a SAVIOR. Often knowingly we search this Savior in worship places with a heart of self-righteousness. But we deny admitting that, this Savior is with us and He brings solutions when we admit that – I AM THE SINNER for whom THIS CONFLICT broke-up.
  2. MY”: In most of the conflict we often say Mera bhai tereko dekh lega. In the above story we also saw the same thing done by the younger one. Even though because of his primary fault the whole drama begun but still instead of accepting his fault and remaining as sinner he tried to call his gang and display his power. We also do the same thing in our conflict stories. In order to patch-up our fault and prove our win we try to drag power from all possible sources. And we think by doing such works we will be praised and be glorified. But the fact of the matter is by doing such work we also prove that, “I am a criminal involved with a crime-minded gang”, which ultimately puts our testimony down before the society.

          We have come up to such situation in this age that because of our “I” & “MY” game we are not trusting one another rather we need protection from one another, which is a solid state of affairs. Often like Alexander, the great we try to win the whole world but still we haven’t won ourselves. So, it’s time for us to stop denying the reality, living in fantasy and saying that someday we will find peace by RESOLVING CONFLICT. If we want a permanent solution to our conflict and peace in our society then, first, we must accept our fault/sin and surrender ourselves to the judgment of God as well man and ask for FORGIVENESS. (YouTube: Ravi Zacharias sermon Jam on “SIN”).

Stay tuned & blessed!

Avinash Das

HOW TO HANDLE CONFLICTS PEACEFULLY?

Former President of United States of America, Ronald Reagan says –

Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.

Wonderful! isn’t it?

If we look around us whether its in the family or in the community conflict is inevitable. I have seen there are people who walked out of the scene where there are conflicts and quarreling just to play safe. But there are times when we really can’t avoid the scene or the people involved in the conflict. At that time we have to think about ‘how to handle conflicts peacefully… .’

The scripture says,

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God forgave you.”

So conflict can be handled peacefully if we put away bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander, malice and become kind, tenderhearted, forgiving one another.

Another Proverb says, 

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

In addition to the above deductions and additions we need to be soft spoken. 

There’s another scripture portion that can really stir our minds, which is –

“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.”

The above quote talks about how we stir up conflicts because of our selfish and evil desires. Unless we are selfless we can not create a peaceful atmosphere among all the quarrels and conflicts. 

Keep reading and keep commenting…

Stay Blessed!!!

SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO COMPROMISE

Sometimes a compromise has to be made to avoid or end a conflict quickly. 

My husband and I have been married for 27 years now and you can bet there have been conflicts that have arisen over the years. Before, I use to remain quiet and not argue. But, as I get older, I realized that sometimes the hubby is not always right.

We had made plans to go out with some friends for dinner and then maybe a movie afterwards. My parents were watching our daughters that night as they were still young. Deciding on where to eat was no problem as we all loved the Olive Garden, a well known Italian restaurant here in the USA. BUT…when it came time to decide on a movie there was a definite problem. 

The men wanted to go see an action movie with a lot of explosions and people getting shot at. My friend and I wanted to see something a bit more romantic. As we stood there looking at the marquee to see what was playing, the argument got a bit more heated. I could see this was not going to end as a happy night for any of us. I placed my arm on my friends arm and whispered to her, jokingly. “Wanna be my movie date?” She started to laugh and the guys just looked at us like we were nuts. I looked at the guys and smiled. 

“Tell you what, why don’t you boys go and watch that action movie and the two of us gals will go and see the movie we want. They both end at the same time.” 

They kind of grumbled but finally agreed. As it turned out the theaters were across from each other. We parted ways at the doors. My friend and I told our husbands to “behave themselves” for which we both got identical mock scowls. I looked at her and she looked at me and we busted out laughing again. Linking our arms, we deliberately added a little wiggle to our hips as we headed into our movie, still giggling.

A compromise was made and our good moods restored.

Author’s Bio: N.Gonzalez lives in the USA, married for 27 years with two grown children. Have been working for retail grocery for last 17 years. Writing is something enjoyed in free time.

GUARDING YOUR REACTIONS TO AVOID CONFLICTS

Working in retail grocery, I deal with the public on a daily basis. In that kind of atmosphere conflict arises.

I had to deal with a young man one time who wanted to buy alcohol. Here in the USA the legal drinking age is 21. The young man was indeed 21 but there was a problem. About a year or more ago, a federal and state law was passed that 30 days AFTER a person’s 21st birthday, they MUST go and get their identification switched from a vertical view to a horizontal view. Anyone serving or selling alcohol to a person with the vertical view license when it should have been changed, could be fined and even loose their jobs.

I explained this all to the young man politely and clearly. He became irritated and started ranting. I told him to wait one moment please, keeping my cool. I went to speak with my manager and told him the situation. He nodded and came out to speak with the customer. The customer kept going on about how everywhere else they accepted his license and I was thinking to myself, “Then those people are idiots.” This young man was trying to start an issue and both my manager and I could see this. My manager stood firm and the young man left without his alcohol and mad as hell.

Both myself and my manager kept our cool thus avoiding a conflict. That particular customer has not returned to our store.

NEVER allow another person to dictate how you will react to a negative situation, no matter how badly you may want to.

Author’s Bio: N.Gonzalez lives in the USA, married for 27 years with two grown children. Have been working for retail grocery for last 17 years. Writing is something enjoyed in free time.

RESOLVING CONFLICT:  FAR MORE VIRTUOUS THAN STIRRING UP ONE

There was this recent newspaper report of a murder committed in cold blood simply because the main accused to the crime stirred up conflict within a group of people. Some verbal altercations between the victim and the main accused over a cricket ball led to the accused rushing back to his galli and provoking the youth there. And so, the entire episode was given a communal colour and the victim was beaten to death in front of his family members.

Max Lucado, a famous best-selling author and writer says, “Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional.”

That’s so true! As long as you and I exist on the face of this planet, we are sure to encounter conflicts of different sorts. But, how we respond to it and how effectively we manage the conflict before us makes all the difference.

There are three categories of people present in a scene of conflict. The first group, who provoke others to join in. The second group, who pacify the agitating bunch. And the third group who choose to be mere neutral bystanders.

The wise king Solomon says that a person who stirs up conflict in a community is detested by God Almighty. Here community refers to a social group. And, any person who incites ill-feelings among a group of persons is no less than a liar, a deceiver or a murderer. Compare the magnitude of it all!

The American philosopher and motivational speaker Dr. Wayne Dyer says, “Conflict cannot survive without your participation.” Absolutely true! Be it a conflict between just two individuals or two groups, if you and I learn to step back many a conflict can be averted.

So then if conflict is inevitable, how do we define our role in places where conflict is imminent? Here are some techniques to resolve conflict and not allow it to snowball into disproportionate measures.

Techniques for Conflict Resolution

  1. Avoidance – Refuse to be involved when provoked. Getting involved in certain types of conflicts can be out rightly avoided. The conflict would fizzle out without your involvement. So, just don’t get entangled.
  2. Conciliation – Rather than choosing to get involved, opt for a compromise. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you need to compromise your values or principles. Some mutual give-and-take interactions help douse the fire that ignites conflict.
  3. Accommodation – There are some conflicting situations which are better resolved if one of the parties to the conflict yields to the demands of the other party. This type of conflict resolution is mostly seen when aggrieved workers agitate against the union.

Higher Order Skills required for Conflict Resolution

Do you know most conflicts arise when one group perceives deprivation of some sort (whether justly or unjustly)? And so, in a typical Indian scenario we see women at the tube-well at conflict as to who should place the bucket first; caste groups in conflict over their rights and privileges; religions in conflict leading to large-scale violence and bloodshed; even business tycoons in conflict. This widespread prevalence of conflict across all socio-economic classes and cultures testifies the fact that conflict is universal. Why take only the Indian example – look at Zimbabwe or Myanmar or for that matter even at the U.S. All these countries deal with conflict and violence – only that the nature of conflict is different at different places.

Conflict is a function of higher order mental processes and hence, conflict resolution too entails higher order brain processing. Some skills required to resolve conflict and prevent it to escalate to humongous levels can be enlisted as follows –

  1. Understanding others’ perspectives – Many a times understanding the viewpoints of others averts conflicts. Failure to understand escalates matters and leads to disastrous consequences.
  2. Assertiveness – Sometimes, it is required that you put your foot down and do not yield to the conflict provoking person or circumstance
  3. Patient Listening – Only when you listen patiently can you understand others and their viewpoints.
  4. Empathy – Try to empathize with the affected party and see reason to the whole issue rather than joining in mindless conflict

Always remember the 3 DO NOTs:

  • DO NOT stir up conflict
  • DO NOT allow yourself to be dragged into a situation of conflict
  • If you feel you cannot help resolve the conflict, DO NOT get involved

Author’s Bio: Rajnandini Sahu has done her Post Graduation in Clinical and Counselling Psychology and is presently working as a Counsellor in a school, apart from pursuing higher studies. She can be contacted at ‘rsahu1023@gmail.com‘.