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Constructive Conflict: Three Tips to a Better Life through Conflict

Updated on September 17, 2010

How Do You See Conflict?

Do you tend to see conflict as a tragedy to be avoided or an opportunity to be embraced?

See results

See Conflict as an Opportunity for Personal Growth

To see and or understand that conflict as an opportunity for personal growth is the first tip of employing conflict to build a better life. If we are willing to observe our own behavior, through conflict we can come to see ourselves for who we are. 

Stephen Covey pointed out that human beings have four unique gifts over other animals. One of those gifts is self-awareness. Self-awareness is the ability to observe our own personal behavior as if in the third person.

By using self-awarness to actively observe our attitudes and actions, we  can devise strategies to work through conflict in ways that mutually beneficial to both parties. In this way, conflict becomes constructive and affords us an opportunity for personal growth.

Books on Conflict Resolution

Conflict is sooo natural to life you would think we would all be experts at it by now. But in fact, for most of us, the exact opposite is true. Even though conflict is such a normal part of relationships, most of us are just plain bad at it.

The reason why we are so poor at working through conflict is that we tend have a bad attitude about it. We tend to see it as negative thing to be avoided at all cost, rather than a positive experience to learn and grow. This article discusses constructive conflict and how to see and use conflict as an opportunity for a better life.

In this article featuring constructive conflict, we will walk together to discover seven tips to a better life through conflict. Those four tips include:

  1. To see conflict as an opportunity for personal growth;
  2. To see conflict as an opportunity to improve your relational skills;
  3. To see conflict as an opportunity to improve your relationship with the other person.

In this way, conflict can become constructive and provide opportunities to have a better life.

See Conflict as an Opportunity to Improve Relational Skills

To see conflict as an opportunity to improve our relational skills is a second tip for using interpersonal struggles to better life through conflict. Although fighting with others is never easy and almost always painful, interpersonal struggles with others gives us chances to develop and improve our ability and capacity for relating with others.

For instance, we can choose to use conflict to fine tune our communication skills by learning to be better active listeners. We can also learn how to temper our speech to make it edifying rather than terrorizing. In this way, constructive conflict can be used to build a better life.

See Conflict as an Opportunity to Improve Your Relationship with the Other Person

To see conflict as an opportunity to improve your relationship with the other person is a third tip for using person to person skirmishes to better life. Hurtful attitudes, words, and actions can be devastating to a relationship, but working out problems can help you learn more about your companion and help you draw closer and more intimate with him or her.

The important point here is to take a humble learner attitude.

Even if you believe the other person was mostly at fault, constructive conflict allows you to use your interpersonal struggle to learn more about your friend or spouse. Through the process of working out the issue(s), you can find out more about your partner's preferences. Working through the sticky points (no matter how painful) can create an emotional bond that will result in even stronger and more intimate bond. In this way, constructive conflict can be beneficial and lead to a better life.


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    • ecoggins profile image

      ecoggins 7 years ago from Corona, California

      heart4theword, thank you for taking the time to read this hub and comment. i like your sense of humor. one day i was sitting with a Cambodian lady chatting about this and that and the subject of conflict came up. she told me that there is an old cambodian proverb that says "two people are not truly friends until they have had some aegument (or conflict)." the gist of the proverb is that true friends get down and dirty together to the point that sometimes they rub each other the wrong way.

    • heart4theword profile image

      heart4theword 7 years ago from hub

      That's the thing, we are not always good at constructing our conflict:) I try to stay away from those, who always want to start an argument, just about anything. I understand what you are saying though...we can look at it as a problem, or look at a way to find a solution! Some are crying out for someone to take the time to put up with them:) I'm just kidding, I get on my nerves too! Constructive Hub Ecoggins:)

    • ecoggins profile image

      ecoggins 7 years ago from Corona, California

      Sharon, I am glad my hubs touch you. Thank you for the encouraging words.

    • sharon e dix profile image

      sharon e dix 7 years ago

      Thank you ,once again for the truths you have learned through lifes lesions. (smile) Sharon

    • ecoggins profile image

      ecoggins 7 years ago from Corona, California

      UlrikeGrace - thank you very much for pausing to read this hub and commenting on it. I appreciate your kind and encouraging words.

    • UlrikeGrace profile image

      UlrikeGrace 7 years ago from Canada

      ecoggins...excellent hub and very well presented...this could lead into three more hubs actually as each step could have so much more added...very well done...I learned from it and enjoyed it;s presentation...Bless you


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