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Nonviolent Communication: How to Resolve Conflicts in English

In everyday life, both with family and at work, it is natural to have differences of opinion or to feel hurt by the words or actions of someone close to us. To make a difference, however, it is important to be aware of how we handle difficulties and how the lessons we learn can become a treasure.

Often, the first path we want to take is that of a fit of anger or an escape, but neither reaction is appropriate. If exaggerated reactions lead to unpleasant consequences, not resolving conflicts with others leads to an aggravation of the situation and a breakdown in relationships. To avoid this, do not let too much time pass before acting and follow these minor precautions:

  • Do not react impulsively.
    If you realize that you are about to lose your patience, it is better to move away and face the situation later, after you have released your anger and can control it better.
  • Try to look at the situation objectively.
    It is not easy to look at a situation through the eyes of the person in front of us, especially if they have hurt our feelings. Instead, try to discover what happened and analyse it with a cool head while trying to consider it from as many angles as possible.
  • Show empathy.
    Far from having to agree with those that you do not, showing empathy means that you express understanding of the feelings of others. This favours constructive communication.
  • Show that you are willing to admit your mistakes.
    It may not be easy to admit, but, usually, not only one side in a disagreement is correct. You must be prepared to admit your errors, even when it is not easy.
  • Be assertive.
    Learn how to present your reasons calmly and clearly at the same time. Express your feelings and instead of pointing with your finger, talk about yourself, how you feel, and why you feel that way.
  • Listen.
    Far from limiting yourself to speaking alone, be prepared to listen to the other’s reasons and, if possible, to admit a change of perspective.

Phrases

Let’s look at some sentences in English that are assertive, respectful, and appropriate for resolving conflicts, both in your private and professional life.

Showing empathy…

I understand the way you feel, but…

I am really sorry you feel this way, but I didn’t mean that…

I see your point, but…

Admitting your mistakes…

I am sorry if I was misunderstood.

I am sorry for not expressing myself in the right way.

Being assertive…

I felt bad because…

Honestly, I didn’t expect you to act in that way.

I was hurt by what you said.

I don’t think you acted in the right way.

I feel as if I have been accused of something I have not done.

I admit that I am a bit sensitive, but it hurts when someone talks to me in that way.

When learning a foreign language, there is a tendency to translate your thoughts directly from your mother tongue. Communicating correctly in stressful situations, however, requires good preparation and mental effort. Have you ever thought about taking an online course that combines the knowledge of grammar rules and vocabulary with a good understanding of the culture and expressions that the language entails? With ABA English, you will not only learn the rules of English grammar but also the most appropriate way to express yourself in the different situations you will face in your daily life. Why not try our course now?

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