The right way to approach a confrontation

Clinical psychologist Dave Spellman gives us the low-down on dealing with conflicts


The right way to approach a confrontation

1. To give yourself the best chance of a good outcome in any confrontation, you need to think about what you want to happen and what you think is possible. We all have gripes about people and situations, but it's important to know exactly what you are hoping for.

2. If conflict is brewing, you have to engage with the people you have problems with in order to find out if they are troubled and interested in solving them too. If you’re going to try to talk, you need to pick a time which isn’t too emotionally charged, when you are not rushed and people are well disposed towards each other.

3. Choose your words carefully. Often people can sound quite accusatory if they need to raise something with another person. Think of what it would be like to be on the receiving end of what you are saying. Use a form of words such as: ‘I wish we could get on better’, rather than ‘I wish you’d stop telling me how to live my life’.

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