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Dare to Live Without Limits: How to Handle Conflict

Dare to Live Without Limits
How to Handle Conflict

Everyone encounters conflict. The source can be complete strangers or people you know. Dealing with conflict from those closest to you, such as relatives, spouses, or friends is a difficult challenge. These people know you the best and understand what your sensitivities are. When their intent is less than benevolent, they seem to excel at getting under your skin and are a constant source of agony.
What can you do when someone's words or actions annoy you? You can confront them about their behavior. If they are benevolent and considerate and their actions were inadvertent, they will likely apologize and refrain from repeating the offensive behavior.
Other people have malicious intentions and are looking to set you off. They seem to always know exactly what upsets you. An effective way of dealing with these types of people is to avoid reacting.
Refrain from arguing or objecting to their offensive behavior. Just smile and don't respond. At first this isn't easy because they make your blood boil. When they eventually realize that you no longer react, they will leave you alone and look for easier prey.
No one can control your emotions without your participation. You can't control what other people say, think, or do but you do have total control over how you respond. No one can aggravate you, annoy you, or take advantage of you without your permission. When you begin to stop reacting to someone's actions they will get frustrated and may try even harder to egg you on at first.
But as you hold your ground and refuse to be drawn in, their behavior will subside. Even if it doesn't, you will have conditioned yourself not to react, so it won't matter anyway.

NOW AVAILABLE: "Dare to Live Without Limits," the book. Visit or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at or write him c/o this paper. Copyright 2005 Bryan Golden

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