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Constructive Ways To Resolve Conflict

Get a free psychic reading right now at PsychicAccess.comIn this age, where information can be so easily found, it is astonishing that so few people know, or practice the basics of good communications with those they care about. This seems to be especially true with some members of the New Age or spiritual community, who can sometimes communicate better with “the mother ship” or ghosts than with fellow humans (who could really use the company and conversation).

There is a saying “healer, heal thyself.” In addition to teaching Psychology and conflict resolution skills, I have spent thousands of hours and lots of money  working on myself: Twelve Step programs (ACA/CODA and Al Anon when I cannot find the others), workshops, regressions, therapy, spiritual retreats and many, many other modalities.

Never ascribe to an opponent motives meaner than your own ~ John M. Barrie

When resolving conflicts with someone you care about (when you don’t care you can just walk away) I like these ideas:

1) Take responsibility for your half of the event or situation. This means using “I” statements instead of sentences that begin with “You” (you said, you did…).

2) Take responsibility for your portion of what was said or done.

2) This is the hardest one: refuse to take someone else’s inventory! What does this mean? Do not tell the person what they did wrong. That is their business to figure out (and we don’t even know if it really was “wrong” – only that we didn’t like it).

Instead, take your own inventory on what you did right or wrong in your own eyes. We can say  “I didn’t like it when you…..”  or “My feelings were hurt when you…” Now you are saying what bothered you – rather than criticizing the other person.

3) I set a boundary, because most people will not discuss what they did wrong, but instead want to blame and discuss what the other person did or said “wrong”. I refuse to have a discussion with someone where we both only discuss what is wrong with me. I shut those discussions right down. I used to tolerate this. Big mistake.

If you start a conversation with the assumption that you are right or that you must win, obviously it is difficult to talk ~ Wendell Berry

I will discuss what I did, and you get to discuss and reveal what you did. It always does take two. I will not discuss what I did then listen to someone dump more on me, without taking any responsibility. In some cases, it really is one person’s fault — maybe they lied or made a serious mistake based on bad judgment. But even then we can say: “I cannot tolerate that behavior.” Then we are not judging the person — we are just stating our reactions or limitations with regards the behavior, i.e. we cannot or will not tolerate that behavior.

I love this process also, because it quickly identifies whom or whom not to be friends with. I simply will not be friends with people who do not work on themselves all the time. After all, we brush our teeth daily, change car oil, wash dishes — how can we not work on our self on a daily basis?

One good conversation where we both discuss what’s wrong with me is the last one I will have with that person. It is like weeding my garden — it’s nothing bad, I just don’t want it in my garden.

Two good “I’s” make a great “we” or “us”! Each person challenges the other to look at themselves by refusing to do that work for the other person. By only taking responsibility for our own behavior, and not taking responsibility for blaming or making the other person wrong, we create a safe and compelling space for the other to engage in some self-examination.

Whether or not the other person takes advantage of this opportunity tells us something about their character and integrity. This in turn allows us to make better choices in friendship… and love.

About The Author: Nonna

Nonna lives in Southern California, and is a professor of psychology and a teacher of psychic development, energy work and meditation, who has recently finished her PhD. She has been a counselor for both humans and animals for thirty years, removing energy blocks through her expertise in the spiritual arts. She also has numerous years of study and practice with classic psychological therapeutic models, family work, twelve-step processes, nutritional and body/mind/spirit healing, complementary, alternative, and quantum medicine. Nonna is brilliant at unearthing the gems in every client's soul and polishing them to a fine finish. To release your own soul's sparkle, contact Nonna at

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