When you find yourself in an awkward, sticky situation with another person, you may find it difficult to figure out how to resolve arguments. You may have strong feelings about what happened or believe you have been disrespected in some way.
You’re certain you’re “correct.” Most likely, you’ve heard the expression “walking in someone else’s shoes.” Have you ever put this concept to the test by applying it to a real-life situation? This can dramatically open your eyes to a completely different way of viewing your circumstances, and may provide you with the solution you’re looking for in your interpersonal interactions.
If nothing else, learning to put yourself in the shoes of the other person will improve your ability to resolve conflicts with others. To see arguments from a different perspective and more easily resolve them, follow these steps:
1. Put your thoughts and feelings about your “side” of the argument on hold for the time being. When you set aside your own reasoning and argument, you are better able to see the situation from the other side’s point of view. Put down your thoughts, at least for the time being.
2. Pay close attention. This step may be more difficult than you think. When the other person is expressing their point of view, refrain from emphatically stating your own. For the time being, you’ll simply listen intently and with an open mind to what the other person sees from his point of view. “I’m just listening right now,” you’ll probably need to remind yourself. * What is the other person’s true emotion? Do you understand why they are so upset?
3. Maintain a neutral stance. Try to gather information from the other person while suspending your judgments and comments. How does he feel? What exactly is he thinking? What are his suggestions for resolving the situation? * Recognize that the other person’s point of view may be adamant or stubborn. Allowing the person’s emotional state to influence you in any way is not a good idea.
4. Remind yourself that the other person is concerned about you. They are as invested in their position as you are in yours.
5. Recognize that they have a right to an opinion. You’ll probably feel more at ease in your encounter if you remind yourself that everyone has their own thoughts and opinions, and they differ from person to person. And that’s fine.
6. Consider agreement for a moment. What would it be like to agree with the individual? Did they make a convincing argument? Take a few moments to think about how accepting the other person’s “shoes” would affect you. * Consider what would happen to him and you if you agreed to his resolution.
7. Ask yourself, “Is this a big deal?” Recognize that the conflict may not be as important as you first thought. In fact, now that you’ve calmed down and seen his point of view, you may realize that the argument wasn’t worth the energy either of you was expending to be “right.”
8. Consider a compromise. Can you meet halfway to resolve the conflict? You might be able to negotiate your way out of the conflict if you give a little and he gives a little. Do you believe you’ll be willing to meet halfway? Please notify him if this is the case. Inquire if he is willing to do the same. * Find win-win solutions in which you both get what you want.
9. Accept his point of view and agree to disagree. There will be times when you disagree with someone about a situation. At the very least, if you can respectfully agree to disagree, you’ve reached a sort of resolution. Putting yourself in the shoes of another person is an eye-opening experience. If you put your own feelings aside and listen without judgment, you’ll discover that the other person is just as passionate about the issue as you are.
As you begin to see the other person’s point of view and realize the situation isn’t life-or-death, you can consider meeting halfway to resolve an argument. Finally, once you put yourself in the shoes of the other person, you always have the option of politely disagreeing.
Our audiobook on the subject of problem solving can help improve your communication skills and show you how to resolve arguments by working toward a common solution.
In Solving Problems: Finding Perfect Solutions Without Getting Lost in the Problem, you will learn four proven tools for putting solution-focused problem solving to work.
Generally, when we have a problem, the focus is on what’s missing. we look at what is wrong. In doing so, we risk getting lost in the deficits, which may lead to more challenges and fewer solutions.
The solution-focused model looks at problem solving from a more positive perspective. Rather than focusing on deficits, the focus is on strengths, skills, experiences, resources, and support.