“Set aside ego, resolve a misunderstanding and see how good you feel.”– Forgive & Forget, Work-Life Balance, Health & Relationship, Work Wise
However, converting them into ego battles and not resolving them can take away the joy and happiness out of our lives.
Life is so unpredictable, so, let’s stop the game of hate and begin to love people. Let’s give ourselves a reason to smile by forgetting bad experiences and forgiving people. Think of someone with whom you want to sort out differences and continue reading.
There are three prerequisites to resolve conflict:
There are three fundamental approaches to get started:
Take the bold step, fix a time for a discussion with the concerned person and walk into the meeting with the single objective of solving all differences. Start the conversation by thanking the person for agreeing to meet you. Express regret for the state of the relationship, tell the person you care and you want the relationship to be normal again.
Ask for an apology (without expecting one), be apologetic for your actions (but don’t expect the same for the other end), don’t try to prove ‘a right’ or ‘a wrong’, just keep working to resolve the problem. Discuss what went wrong and how that can be sorted out to move on in life, look for solutions. Control your emotions, empathize with the person and allow him to vent out the frustrations. Be prepared to hear a few criticisms, make a few sacrifices, be ready to let go, just keep the ego aside if you really care.
If you are genuine in your approach you will be able to resolve the conflict, if not, you will at least have a great sense of satisfaction that you tried your best. In both the cases, you will end up as a winner and earn yourself a lot of peace and harmony.
If you are unable to gather courage for a face-to-face conversation or if distance is a concern then just make a phone call. Some people are more expressive over the phone; they feel comfortable and are able to build a conversation easily. Once you have the concerned person online repeat the same process as in the case of one-on-one conversation. The only thing that can change is that conversation can get emotional and sometimes people do break down during the conversation.
A 38 year old professional got married against his parents’ wishes and had to pay the price of breaking relationship with his parents. He had not spoken to them for 15 years, each of his attempts to resolve the differences failed in his mind because he was convinced that he will not be forgiven. Eventually, he gathered courage to talk to his mother over the phone; he apologized for having gone against their wishes, expressed his love and need to be with them. The conversation got charged emotionally and ended with his parents calling him back home.
When talking becomes an impossible, try writing a letter or an e-mail. All rules to resolve the conflict are the same as in the case of one-to-one talk. However, you may experience a strange feeling while writing. You will make mistakes, your hand writing may not be at its best, and you may feel like writing and rewriting. This happens because the mind tries to reason out why you should not apologies, you were right the other person was wrong and so on. But just try to finish the letter in one sitting and post it to the person. Some times you may even feel like writing a letter to someone who lives/work with you, do ensure that the letter reaches them.
A family property conflict separated a teenage niece from her loving aunt; they had not spoken for 3 years. With no option left, she wrote a letter to her aunt expressing her love and how much she misses being with her. She expressed her disappointment about the manner in which her dad and uncle fought for the property and said she desired to live together again with love and happiness. She posted the letter, however, even before it could reach her aunt, she received a message that her aunt had passed away. A few days later her uncle read the letter, realized his mistake and apologized to her and unified the family again.
There are several other examples like these— a daughter who felt that her parents loved her elder sister more, and became hostile towards them where the situation got sorted with an honest communication with the family; a housewife who let go of her ego and apologized to build a beautiful relationship with her mother-in-law; a boss who accepted that he had been rude to some of his team members and earned their respect.
Forgiving, seeking forgiveness, letting go and forgetting things creates scope for a more powerful, meaningful and productive life. So, go on and learn to forgive and forget.