Simple conflict resolution

7 Oct
Conflicts in relationships can be a valuable opportunity for increasing communication between the two of you. Conflict is not necessarily a bad thing.

When you are in the midst of conflict, one relationship guru suggests you take the LEAD approach (Listen, Explore, Affirm, Decide) to manage it respectfully and calmly. Finding her advice useful, I have adapted it for you here at The Pink Report.

Listen to what is being said.

Take your fingers out of your ears long enough to hear why he is upset. Clarify. Many conflicts arise out of a simple lack of understanding — avoid making assumptions about how he is feeling, but instead repeat his words back to him.

ex: “I hear you say that you do not like it when I slam the door in your face. I understand that you think it’s disrespectful.”

Keep a straight face throughout this clarification process. This is key.


Explore the feelings that come up.

Sometimes conflict escalates because something about the situation is an emotional trigger for us. Try to treat this incident as completely separate from the past. You can manage conflict more effectively if you deal only with the matter at hand.

ex: “Just because I slammed the door on you last week does not mean that I’m making a habit of it. I really think what’s happening here is that the door needs to be checked as I certainly didn’t mean to slam it today.”

Proceed to show him how easily the door slams with little effort by repeatedly shutting the door in his face. “See? It really is way too easy to slam this door.”


Affirm the other person’s point of view.

You don’t have to agree to understand the other’s point of view. Simply acknowledging and validating someone’s feelings can be a powerful tool for resolving conflict positively. At the end of the day, most people just want to be heard.

For this phase, it is sometimes helpful to be completely naked except for an eye-catching accessory.

ex: “I understand that you don’t like it when I slam the door. I understand that it hurts your ears and disturbs the peace. Don’t these heels make my legs look longer?”


Decide on a fair course of action.

Now that you have a clear idea of what the problem is and where the person is coming from, it is time to explore some solutions. Choose the soundest option to deal with the offense. Plan to revisit your decision within a specified period of time to see how you are doing and what changes, if any, need to be made.

ex: “I promise to never, ever slam the door again. And you shall hug me now for doing it. And give me daily reminder hugs for the next week. Is that fair? No? A spanking?! And another one tomorrow morning?”

You are on your own for the negotiations stage as I have not yet perfected my own game. Please email me any useful tips so I can provide further relationship advice to readers in need.

11 Responses to “Simple conflict resolution”

  1. Dioneo October 7, 2010 at 4:26 pm #

    Sound advice, Dear Pink, but don't forget the make-up sex. So it should perhaps be "LEADS"–or better yet "LEADSS".Loved the last photo.

  2. barely.pink October 7, 2010 at 4:37 pm #

    Dioneo, I think that might fall under the "negotiations" phase. 🙂

  3. PAT October 7, 2010 at 5:40 pm #

    LoveEventhe Asshole'sDumbness

  4. barely.pink October 7, 2010 at 6:13 pm #

    Pat, I'm putting on my most conflict-resolving tone of voice…Who's an asshole? And who's dumb? Shall I put on some heels? 😉

  5. Raven Red October 7, 2010 at 6:41 pm #

    Taking into account that I have a problem at step 1 already: "Straight face".I would suggest for those who feel the giggle coming up, and the corners of the mouth going towards the heavens…to inject loads of understanding, softness, empathy and concern into the voice.Otherwise, you might find yourself skipping straight to step 4…and those darn shoes were expensive!!

  6. PAT October 7, 2010 at 7:13 pm #

    the other person

  7. barely.pink October 7, 2010 at 7:31 pm #

    Raven, you are quite right — if you can't keep a straight face from the onset, you must immediately don those expensive shoes and skip to the DAFT method:DistractAppealFlounceTeaseThat might work.

  8. HEDONE October 7, 2010 at 9:25 pm #

    Oh pink this was good! You're a little brat…a sexy one too.-H

  9. Raven Red October 8, 2010 at 1:28 am #

    Pink, knowing him, before I can don that expensive shoe, I think he would be using it for his MISS method:MotivateIllustrateSpecifySummarise

  10. cover me October 8, 2010 at 5:54 pm #

    This is only the third time i've ever commented on anyones blog, i'm not here to comment on the actual blog, but to say the last picture on this one is stunning. Your blogs are interesting reading.

  11. barely.pink October 9, 2010 at 10:16 am #

    H, I am an undercover brat, so a successful one. :)Raven, HAHA…I love your MISS method. LEAD, DAFT, and MISS. We need to write a book.Cover me: Hello, and welcome. I'm pleased that you commented on my blog. And, yes, I love that last picture too. It's so elegant.

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