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Look beyond the conflict

April 3, 2013

Here’s a great idea…

In their publication, Getting Our Hearts Right, H. Wallace Goddard and James P. Marshall say,

“Focusing on the good qualities of a person in the midst of a conflict can help us avoid irritation and negativity. We can strengthen relationships with people we care about by choosing to make more positive and encouraging statements to them—and about them—rather than negative or critical statements.”

In other words…

Conflict narrows our focus. We zero in on our differences and often forget the rich and cherished history we share together. In addition, conflict shrinks our compassion. Instead of seeing others as dear people who are important to us and have tender stories of their own, we see them as enemies to be defeated. Conflict turns friends into enemies.

Here’s how you can use this idea to have a better life…

Irritation is an invitation. Next time you’re tempted to slip into conflict, pause. Look into the face of the other person. Remember good times you’ve shared. Contemplate their story. Then—filled with appreciation–you’ll be ready to deal with the irritation.

To Find Out More…
about personal well-being, check out Getting Our Hearts Right or The Personal Journey programs at arfamilies.org, follow us at facebook.com/navigatinglife or contact your local county Extension agent. You may also enjoy reading Barbara Fredrickson’s Love 2.0.

2 Comments
  1. April 3, 2013 9:12 pm

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