Hello, Hailey? How are you this sunny Sunday morning? I hope you’re doing great. I hear you’re on a quest to improve the quality of your social interactions, especially avoiding, managing and resolving

I hear you’re on a quest to improve the quality of your social interactions, especially avoiding, managing and resolving conflict.

I must commend you for your noble ideal, as a great deal of your happiness/unhappiness in life stems from the quality of your social interactions. It’s in view of this I am writing this to you.

Oh, Hailey! Did you know there’s a little-known secret for avoiding, managing and resolving conflict? I know you are familiar with personal boundaries, but what I am about to share with you is privileged knowledge. So read carefully, take notes and reread my letter until you get the gist of what I tell you. Stay with me here.

This secret is known as mindful awareness of circumstances! Yes, you read aright. You might have been so fixated on self-improvement, acquiring knowledge of conflict resolution skills but without this knowledge, all those skills are useless! I will describe this secret in greater detail.

I used to know a lady who had lots of conflict in her interpersonal interactions. I’ll call her Crystal. Crystal had lots of men sending her instant messages on social media, but unfortunately, these men were ostensibly looking for a relationship/sexual affair. As she was the sort of lady who didn’t believe in entering a relationship before meeting the person in real life and establishing mutual values, Crystal obviously didn’t act in a way these men wanted. As a result, there’d be lots of disagreements, name-calling, and she’d end up unfriending the man in question.

Crystal had always seen herself as a woman who loved peace but she started to wonder what she was doing wrong that attracted these men to her. True that in each conflict, she kept her cool but she wanted out of such scenarios. As she was an intelligent woman who believed that every lesson she learned was to either help her replicate a pleasant circumstance or prevent/minimize the occurrence of an unpleasant circumstance, she had to do a lot of thinking. Until it struck her: some circumstances were in place that made it conducive for such men to even approach her in the first place!

On further reflection, she noticed that these men she even responded to their chats in the first place were always men she had not seen their chats in group chat rooms/tweets/status updates prior to when they sent her their first private message. If she had been seeing them after accepting their friend request but prior to the time they first chatted her up, she’d have had a more comprehensive picture of their personality. Also, these were men who never stated their aim of starting a chat with her. They’d be like HiCrystal! and nothing further. Many of these men were also people she couldn’t fit into any of their social circles or them into any of hers.

Conflict occurs when two people’s interests are opposed.

So what did Crystal do to prevent conflict with men online? She resolved to never reply any instant message from anybody whose tweets/status updates/chats in group chat rooms she doesn’t see over a considerable period. She widened it to include those who never introduced themselves and why they were striking up a private chat with her, and people she could already tell she couldn’t fit into any of their social circles or them into any of hers.

The net result is that Crystal no longer has cyber conflicts as she has eliminated the circumstances in which all of them occurred in the past.

So Hailey, if I want to add to that I’d say that whenever you have misunderstandings with people, you might want to look at the circumstances in which it occurred. This is better than blaming yourself or saying it’s the person’s nature that caused the spat. Then look for a trend in your past to see if you’ve also experienced spats in such a circumstance. When you know this, you can take steps to eliminate these circumstances and watch the conflict disappear! Akin to a man who has had lots of dramatic breakups but is unaware of the fact that he met all his exes at parties. When he resolves to never date a woman he meets at parties, he will be more successful in his dating life!

A free tip for you, Hailey: also think back to those with whom you’ve gotten on very well in your past and present. Check the circumstances in which you met these people and look out for a trend. When you find the trend, try to replicate it in future. I know of a man who gets on very well with people he meets during group activities. He is able to have lasting friendships with people he meets in this manner. You know why? Because both of them were relaxed, had fun and were able to observe one another interact with other people, without any prior expectation of friendship!

Hailey, my productivity timer on my laptop tells me I have to schedule a Skype call with a client. I got to go. I hope to hear from you soon!


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