How to Settle a Dispute Peacefully

Dealing with conflict is a normal part of life.
... Hemera Technologies/ Images

If you haven't already, at some point in your life you will have to deal with disputes. They could be with your best friend, your boyfriend, a family member or your roommate. The stress that often accompanies these encounters can interfere with your physical well-being and your psychological health. Though there is no way to completely avoid conflict, it is possible to lessen your stress by working to resolve these disputes peacefully.

1 Keep Your Cool

Staying calm can help keep a disagreement from escalating.
... Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images

Disputes can easily get out of hand if you or the other person involved gets overly angry or emotional. Though it is natural to be upset during a disagreement, emotions should be kept under control. This can help you avoid escalating the dispute or saying something that you might regret later. If you find yourself losing control, it may be best to walk away, calm yourself down and return to the discussion at another time when both of you are in control of your emotions.

2 Learn to Really Listen

Developing good listening skills can help you process what is being said and show that you are paying attention and respect what is being said. Active listening involves asking questions, maintaining eye contact and paraphrasing content in order to make sure you understand everything. For example, you may want to pause after your boyfriend finishes discussing an important point, repeat his message and ask whether you heard him correctly. It shows him that you are hearing and understanding what he is saying. You should also avoid interrupting him as this can come across as rude and might interfere with or delay a peaceful resolution to your dispute.

3 No Mocking Please

Negativity in a conflict includes mocking or insulting, acting defensive, withdrawing from the argument before it is over and being aggressive. In order to avoid unnecessary stress and a prolonged dispute, you should avoid negativity and opt for positive statements and a positive attitude. Acknowledge any points from the other person that you agree with, respect statements or opinions that you do not agree with and always remain polite.

4 Learn to Compromise

During a conflict, it is important for you to really take into consideration the opinion or position of the other person. Finding fault with every solution that is proposed to you can prevent you from ending a disagreement peacefully. If you find yourself arguing with your girlfriend about spending more quality time together, you should work around both of your schedules and find a way to spend time together that does not interfere with either of your obligations.

Ayra Moore is a professional writer who holds a Masters of Science in forensic psychology with a specialty in mental health applications. She also obtained a Bachelor of Arts in general psychology and criminal justice from Georgia State University. Moore worked for two years with at-risk teenagers in a therapeutic setting.