Strategies for Conflict Resolution: Managing Anger and Emotions

Creator: Wasan Tita | Credit: Wasan Tita // Shutterstock Copyright: Wasan Tita

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What comes to your mind after insufficiently or unsatisfactorily achieving something that took a huge investment of energy, mind and effort? What will you do if someone offends you or breaks your rules? Humans tend to do bad things on purpose or by accident, but we also do wrong to other people. Do you end conflicts by apologizing or adding petrol to the fire?

Everyone has ways of handling and solving misunderstandings in a community, starting from family level, friends and internal conflicts; the question is, how often does a person peacefully resolve confrontations? Being a human means opportunities, misfortunes, freedom and limitations, to mention a few. A person is tested at every step he makes to measure his determination to endure the pain or success during the process.

While struggling to fit into our goals, we get positive and negative results, but when undesirable results outweigh the good ones, we always get a seizure. As the desire to struggle is to succeed, people look for alternative ways to achieve their goals. When bad results hurt a person, they use their freedom to overcome obstacles and break limitations, which is the source of social conflict.

Conflict is the source of human anger. Since the results of life’s struggles are positive and negative, anger is inevitable. Both intrapersonal and interpersonal conflicts produce anger in humans.

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Despite having common characteristics as human beings, there are differences that exist among us; cultural, ideological, social and psychological aspects root individual differences. Similarities converge the interests, hence making it simple to handle, while differences diverge the interests between individuals.

When differences become a factor, it is not easy to satisfy both sides. When a person is treated badly and unsatisfied, he or she feels pain and develops strong emotions that germinate into anger. An angry person sometimes says and does things without thinking about the impact. After anger is gone, regret is inevitable.

Can you tolerate being ashamed in front of a crowd of people? Will you tolerate your wife, children, friend or fiancé? Will you take responsibility for your flaws or hide behind lies? Keep in mind that tolerance does not mean sitting back and letting someone hurt you and ignoring your incentives.

Tolerance is a disposition to allow freedom of choice and behaviour: willingness to recognize and respect beliefs or practices of others. We think, believe and act differently, which is why violence is not a suitable way to make a consensus. We think, choose and act differently, so it is good for a person to recognize the presence of this bridge among us during conflict resolution.

Anger is similar to alcohol; it covers shyness, locks dignity and pressures vicious actions. When anger disappears, a person’s reality returns to serve the punishment of bad actions or words said during the period of anger. Words and actions emanating from anger, no matter how harmful, give a person a hard time when the anger is over.

Technically a hard time is regret; a person cannot take back what he has said or cancel the action he has done, when water is spilled, it cannot be redrawn. Anger simplifies enmity among family members, friends and the community at large. Anger facilitates and promotes conflict at the family level and the community. In fact, anger is inevitable, and we can never avoid it, but we have millions of reasons to reduce or eliminate the problems caused by anger.

The sea is rough (angriness). We are travellers who need to cross the other side safely. What do we need to cross this turbulent sea? We need to be good swimmers (actors) and good sailors (wisdom); wisdom should guide actions. Our lives depend on decisions, so we do not need decisions but the right decisions.

A wise decision always raises hope, and then a decision erupts from angriness. In this article, I would like to suggest some methods that can be used to reduce and finally eliminate the negative impacts of anger.  In addition to the methods that I am going to talk about, there are many other methods that people use to ensure that they are safe from the bad influence of anger. The goal is not to find which method is better or better than the other but the best solution to the epidemic anger. Let us see these methods one by one,

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Do Not Impress

In every opportunity we have, something important should not be forgotten or underestimated, and this is ‘self’. We are dealing with the outside environment and the inner environment itself. Sometimes, anger leads a person to a decision that impresses and pleases the audience while leaving a person in mourning.

When anger grips all parts of the body, a person becomes blind and deaf to his actions because anger drives the mind, not a reasonable judgment. This is very dangerous when a person reaches a point to seek sympathy and support from the witnesses of the incident. Anger makes a person think more about victory than the shame of failure and forget that shame is better than victory for a while, which carries pain when anger is gone.

Instead of making a decision that aims to seek the sympathy of witnesses, it is better to accept the shame with a golden victory in it. Indeed, accepting short-term shame to prevent serious consequences is wise and glorious in the decision; this wisdom may arise from both sides, either a victim or a doer (the one who started the quarrel) during the dispute.

Making a bad decision in anger to impress the majority is a sign of irresponsibility. Choose the right way because, at the end of the day, the one who will suffer the consequences is you (yourself) who made the final decision.

Give a Space to Breath

The human brain is like a computer; it processes information, stores it, and retrieves it whenever the body’s mechanisms call for it. The brain and computer are always ready to respond depending on the instructions coming from the user (human). Sometimes, a computer may act weirdly and extremely slow due to outdated drivers or Windows not being up to date, so the computer can be updated or restarted to regain its momentum.

This is true and believable to the human brain: when things are harder and confusing, there are few chances for it to work properly. Hungriness, overexcitement, tiredness, and angriness are among the reasons that cause inappropriate brain functioning. Our main point is that a brain fails to make and provide the right decision when anger is above the limits of peace.

Give yourself a chance to make the right decision, resolve the conflict peacefully, calm down, and give yourself a chance because you deserve better than pain. Giving yourself space to breathe and think about the right decision during angriness brings relief in response to making a decision in anger.

A sudden decision due to anger often triggers conflict because when a person is angry, he is likely to use emotions rather than wisdom and rationality.

Do Not Return ‘Tooth for Tooth’

If early and constructive steps are not taken, anger is very harmful; a person may generate habits that later become addicted. If you let anger guide your actions, you will never settle for a single day to resolve the conflict. The anger of a person addicted to revenge ends when he takes revenge on his opponent; in revenge, a person can do more than what was done to him to show that he is a rock and unbeaten.

What are the goals of revenge? The best revenge that will make the world a safe and peaceful place is the revenge of evil for good deeds. Anger makes us furious, but it is not an excuse to make wrong decisions. God gives us tests and answers, and it is our responsibility to choose the right answers no matter how angry we are.

I do not think revenge makes a person happy and live in peace; on the contrary, revenge stimulated by anger makes a person feel guilty and regret after the anger is over. Anger is like a small field of problems that produce very bad results if a person does not use the great opportunity to nurture the peaceful mechanism to make the right decision.

In every bad thing there is good, the vice versa is true, in decision-making a person must consider both positive and negative impacts of a decision being made. If negative impacts outweigh positive ones, then that is not a desirable decision.

Celebrate and enjoy your anger by making the right decision, which is not aimed at impressing people; when you cannot handle the situation, give yourself time to think and cool your temper. If anger overwhelms you, do not respond to attack with evils but with kindness. If there is a will, there is a way.

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