The key to resolving disputes

I used to be a divorce attorney. When people came to see me, they were usually full of fear and upset. They also had lots of hurt from their relationship. Now they had to resolve important questions like what happens to the kids, the house, and how to handle their finances.

As you can expect, divorcing couples have very different opinions as to how these questions should be resolved. Unfortunately, most people attempt to resolve these issues in a way that makes it hard to resolve anything. We are taught to draw sides against the other person and fight to make sure our side wins.

We think that if we fight hard enough, our side will come out on top, but it doesn’t work this way. Everything we do to have our side win is calculated to have the other side lose. This puts the other person on the defensive and forces that person to fight us.

Then we get upset and fight even more. Then the other person does the same thing. This creates a cycle of conflict that brings out the worst in everyone. It also makes resolving disputes very difficult. Couples can end up fighting over who gets the toothpaste.

Fortunately, all this can be avoided. The key to ending the conflict and resolving disputes is simple. Listen to what the other person has to say. Refuse to draw sides and look for solutions that work for everyone.

This doesn’t mean sell your soul or be a doormat. It means finding solutions that work for both you and the other person. Even if the other person draws sides against you, don’t fight back. When you keep looking for solutions that work for both of you, the other person becomes less defensive. It’s hard to fight someone who is on your side.

Say “No” when you need to and keep looking for solutions. Usually, they show up quickly. Sometimes they take longer, but one thing is certain. If you don’t look for them, you won’t find them.

When I was a divorce attorney, 15 percent of my clients healed their relationship and got back together. The remaining 85 percent were able to part as friends. This was highly unusual in the world of family law, but it’s normal when you focus on having everyone win.

It’s a simple concept, but easier said than done. This is because of all the hurt and upset. Fortunately, the hurt and upset can be healed. You can restore both your inner peace and your effectiveness.

If you are in a cycle of conflict or if there is an area of life where you are struggling, schedule a free half-hour consulting session with me. We can talk about your situation and create a plan of action.

A side note…

More than ever, our culture is about drawing sides and fighting to have our side win. This creates conflict, opposition, and suffering. To turn this around, we need to come from a place of “you and me” instead of “you or me.”

Instead of fighting to have our side win, we need to focus on creating a world where everyone is honored and everyone wins. Instead of destroying love, we need to create it. When enough people come from this place, there will be a tipping point and the rest of the world will follow.

More on this later…

1 Comment

  1. Sister says:

    This is so absolutely true!! I wish I could fit your last paragraph on a poster. I would love to go down to the corner of Hopyard and Valley and lift my sign as an alternative to all the others.

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