Conflicts Can Sometimes Be Averted When We Take the Position of the Caring Listener (Ezine Article)

By Luise Volta | Submitted On January 19, 2007

It is easy to lock horns, sometimes with those near and dear, about opinions on favorite subjects…like religion, politics, and finances. This list is endless.

I have a section on my self-help blog that addresses techniques of conflict resolution and it’s clear from the questions I receive that people struggle in this area of life.

We go through life having experiences that help us form the stands we take. Often we start out reflecting the beliefs and values of the people who raised us or take the opposite stand without much to justify it except rebellion.

In the process of daily living “truths” come to the fore. They look like universal truths and that’s where we get into trouble. In fact, they are just our truths. No matter how much data we have to justify them, they are simply our take on the matter at hand.

The sticky-wicket is that everyone else goes through the same process, and yet their truths don’t always match ours. In college we are inclined to debate such issues until the sun comes up, but later on in life we become more cautions…hopefully.

How then can we manage to have open conversations without combat? The minute we state our position, it can be refuted and then off we go. The same is true for others if they are candid about their experience of exchanging ideas.

One way to look at this whole issue of basic differences is to get that we are all “right.” Each one of us has come by our position on every important issue in our lives through experience, deduction, and hopefully, logic. That still doesn’t always bring us similar answers. Once we get that, there’s an opening to bring in tolerance.

Why not respect another point of view without either accepting it or rejecting it? Why not look at it closely and see that it’s true to the person presenting it?

What might follow is the opportunity to get how the other person feels and then honor that. There’s no reason we can’t silently disagree and still be able to see that the other person is concerned and wants to be heard. There may be room to respond in kind or there may not. What can transpire is that we can develop a better take on that person than we had previously because we now know him or her a little better.

It’s not hard to figure out when our own truth will be welcomed and when it won’t. That doesn’t automatically mean we’re not welcome to express ourselves. Often, the person never asks. Have you noticed that? We don’t have to say anything about disagreeing because being heard is often all that’s requested.

If this sounds like a commercial for one-sided conversations…why not give it a try anyway? There’s always “later.” We know who will listen to us and find our views interesting and we even know a few people who agree. Test the waters. Look closely. It’s not that hard to get clear on the attitude of the person you are with.

Your next step is to decide and how you want to interact. A lot of disagreements are over extremely foolish things and irreparable damage is done.

Bottom line: Why not lighten up and let go of always having to be “right”?

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Luise Volta’s life has included careers in nursing, teaching preschool, interior design, real estate sales, insurance adjusting, and dairy herd cow testing. She helps people with a wide array of subjects, including relationship problem advice, aging wisely, career advice, death and afterlife, free financial information, helping others, home and garden, mental health, motivation and success, nutrition and health, parenting development, pets, self-acceptance, sexuality, spirituality, techniques of conflict resolution, troubled teenagers, values and beliefs, RV advice, senior RV camping and camping clubs. Visit for free advice.

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