Hypnotherapy - how it can help you deal with conflict
There are times in life when we have no choice but to deal with a serious disagreement. There can be many reasons why we find ourselves in a conflict situation, one that cannot be ignored or walked away from. It may be because of a major difference of opinion, a perceived wrong-doing or it may be our responsibility because we've reacted in an especially sensitive or vulnerable way.
Emotions can run high at these times. Things that might usually be ignored or disregarded can be added to our mental list as yet another point of contention. And so we can find ourselves feeling angry, hurt, disappointed and even more stressed than before. It can be a useful exercise to take time for reflection and explore what the real, underlying issues might be.
Let's look at some ways to handle conflict when it's become stressful.
- Start by itemising what your grievances really are. Might there be aspects of the situation that are down to you? Perhaps someone has put your nose out of joint, your ego has been hurt or maybe you really do have a valid issue that needs to be dealt with. Be aware that of those 10 reasons you could list, it may be that half of them are relatively trivial or are simply extensions of one bigger, main issue. Consider how much of the problem is down to you and your confidence levels, your interpretation of events. Hypnotherapy can play an important role in helping you to deal with negative expectations and help you improve your perspective on life.
- Be reflective and try to see the other person's viewpoint. It's highly unlikely that they are taking pleasure in being evil or malevolent. Is it worth going through an overview of the situation with family and friends to get another perspective? If you decide to do that it's important to remain as factual as possible as you outline your experience of the problem. Clearer thinking, staying calm and rational in times of stress and adversity can all be helped through working with your unconscious responses using hypnotherapy.
- Pick your key points of dissent, the really important points that you feel need to be raised when you come to deal with the matter. It's vital to keep to the facts, otherwise discussions can get lost amongst a deluge of claims, counter-claims, justifications and excuses. Be ready to listen to some tough truths in reply; after all, the other person will have their own views about you and your role in the conflict. Keeping a balanced perspective and calm focus on the key matters can all be helped through the use of hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis techniques.
- Be clear as to where you want to deal with the matter. For example, some people prefer not to discuss contentious matters at home or at their place of work. They don't want to bring conflict home or cause a tense atmosphere in their workplace. Have suggestions as to when and where you're prepared to discuss matters. A neutral, public place can be good as having other people around can ensure a more restrained discussion.
- Listen as the other person speaks. It may be that they're completely in the dark as to your level of upset, have no idea what you're talking about. They may regard the whole thing as a storm in a teacup. Consider how you'll react if you get this response. Could it be that you're being over-sensitive, or could it be a symptom of how stressed you are? Is the other person being difficult or are they exceptionally thick-skinned?
When there are grievances though it's important to try to understand the full picture. As a hypnotherapist and relationship counsellor I'm often amazed at how two people can recount exactly the same facts about the when and the where of an event and yet have two totally different interpretations of what happened and how it affected them. Listen to what the other person has to say without interruption or second-guessing and try to understand their reasons for feeling the way they do.
- Decide, in advance if you can, what would be a good outcome for you. Do you want to heal the relationship or are you fine about ending it completely? Could there be occasions when you may need to meet in a cordial or friendly way or might you have to continue working together because of business or family connections? Consider what is the best, most effective outcome for you and work out the best ways to achieve that result.
Deciding to deal with conflict is often far less stressful than leaving it to simmer and cause an unhappy undercurrent both in you and in the relationship. Conflict rarely goes away of its own accord. By determining in advance what you want and need in order to resolve the matter helps you feel clearer, more in control and able to work towards achieving the most positive outcome for everyone involved. Hypnotherapy can support you in achieving those goals.
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About Susan Leigh
Susan's a South Manchester Hypnotherapist, seeing clients for confidence, stress, sleep, relationship issues. She writes for magazines and journals nationally and internationally. Her book Dealing with Death, Coping With the Pain is in reprint. She's a contributor to the Huffington Post, a regular guest on BBC Radio & has been on BBC Breakfast TV.