Part of the necessary steps of any quality recovery program is the process of adopting new ways to cope with stress and anxiety, battle states of depression, prevent relapses, and learn to manage conflicts. As human beings, one of our fundamental proclivities is that of engaging in interpersonal relationships that foster connection. Because of our strong desire to connect with others, inherent in those experiences is the inevitability of having to face conflicts. These experiences can be wasted if we approach conflict with residual resentments, anger, or rage lying beneath the surface. With that understanding, we can see that the ability to effectively manage conflicts doesn’t begin the moment the conflict arises, but instead skillful conflict management begins with a deep examination of ourselves.
If we can employ mindfulness and really pay attention to ourselves, we will often find that at the heart of most of our conflicts are issues that relate more deeply to ourselves than they do to the person we are in conflict with. Because we run the risk of using unsuspecting others as outlets for our negative emotions, it is imperative that we investigate this aspect of ourselves in order to straighten them out before we engage in conflict with another person. Part of the joy of being sober is the ability to be present in the moment and to become overtaken by the vitality of life. If we are constantly burdened by our inner demons, however, we will not be able to live in the moment as we will be bogged down by inner turmoil.
Once we have managed to clean up our side of the street, we can begin to think about how we might engage in conflict in a healthier manner. The first rule of effective conflict management is to observe our own playbook and understand that the person we are in conflict with might be struggling with their own inner demons. Even if this is not the case and the conflict is justified, we must never take things personally. By personalizing someone else’s conflict, we give our power away and we react as though we are responsible for their conflict. We need to be honest with what we say, clear and direct in how we speak, and unwavering in the face of threats or intimidation. We must be willing to replace harmlessness with steadfastness and through the adoption of this truthful, caring, but firm perspective, we will begin to manage difficult conflicts in ways we could’ve never imagined.
Tree House Recovery of Portland, Oregon uses cutting-edge techniques in individualized programs to help men achieve freedom from addiction. Taking a holistic, sustainable approach to the inner and outer effects of addiction ensures you or your loved one will emerge with the confidence and skills to manage your addiction independently. No one is beyond help- our Admissions Counselors are available 24/7 at (855) 969-5181.