The Best New Year’s Resolution of All
‘Tis the season when many people are thrilled to close the door on one year and open their hearts and minds to the possibilities of 365 new days. This is the time when people resolve to lose weight, get healthy, eat better, save money, travel, volunteer, or cut down their stress level.
Resolutions like these are a fine way to start the New Year, but if you’ve got a conflict in your life with someone you care about, you won’t be fully happy no matter how many pounds you lose, trips you take, or dollars you save. That’s especially true if the conflict has driven your marriage to the breaking point.
If you want to resolve the endless arguments with your spouse, step-children, siblings, or other important people in your life, but you don’t know where to begin, you’re not alone. Many people assume that their conflicts are unresolvable – something that they just have to live with, always there in the background, creating toxic stress in their lives.
But the truth is, no conflict is “unresolvable.” There is always a way to find a middle ground, where both parties can agree to move ahead peacefully. It might not be easy, and it might take a lot of focus, cooperation, and discussion. But once the conflict is resolved and that weight is lifted, it’s much easier for everything else you wish for to fall into place.
So make a resolution now to make this the year that you put that conflict to rest, once and for all. There are several good resources available that can teach you some techniques to help you work through conflict on your own. One great place to start is by reading People Skills by Richard Bolton, which includes chapters on How to Assert Yourself, Listen to Others and Resolve Conflicts.
Some people prefer a more hands-on approach to gaining the tools and skills they need to prevent and resolve conflict. Shortly, I’ll be hosting a workshop to help couples learn more about the sources of conflict, how different communication styles can lead to an impasse, and how active listening and other techniques can help people pinpoint their deepest motivations, work through their issues, and reach resolution.
Or have a dispute resolution mediator, such as myself, facilitate the process from a neutral perspective. I’ve guided many couples, families, and co-workers through the process of resolving their conflicts by pinpointing each party’s deepest motivations. I can tell you that it all starts with this: You have to commit to doing it together.
Now’s the time to get started making your resolution come true. Free yourself from conflict, and make 2016 your happiest year yet.