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How Can I Cope With Conflict in Recovery?

As humans, we are social creatures. This includes living and working with other people. Conflict is common between individuals and can range from mild to severe. Good communication and managing conflict are important coping skills in recovery. They are vital social and interpersonal skills that help you to manage stress, participate in your community, and develop healthy relationships.

In treatment, you participate in many types of therapy and groups. These will teach you how to communicate with others and manage many different types of relationships. As you enter recovery and leave treatment, you will continue developing your social skills. This includes incorporating methods of coping with conflict into your daily life.

A conflict is a disagreement. It highlights an incompatibility or difference of ideas. A simple conflict may be deciding what to have for dinner, while a more complex disagreement may be a discussion about where you want to live or how to best raise children. Regardless of the conflict, coping skills are integral in having successful relationships in recovery.

Coping With Conflict

When disagreements arise, it is normal to want to avoid them. However, you can learn how to manage these differences in a way that allows all parties to communicate, be heard, and find a compromise. These are integral social skills. At Enlightened Solutions, we believe in teaching these skills in our programs to help clients successfully cope with conflict and build relationships in recovery.

The Importance of Listening

You are only one part of a relationship or one person in a group. Learning to listen to others is an essential coping skill when managing a disagreement. When you listen to another person, you allow them to share their point of view. If you or another person is not allowed to share, negative feelings can grow and escalate into full-blown hostility.

Listening to another person’s point of view does not mean you need to agree with it. Remember, active listening is a skill. Try focusing on what they are saying. This will help you to understand their perspective on the situation. The more you practice actively listening to others, the better you will get at it. Group therapy or peer groups are great places to practice this skill. Once you get the hang of it, it can be easier to listen to those you disagree with in your life.

Keeping a Level Head

Conflicts tend to bring up feelings of frustration and anger. Keeping a level head while you disagree is incredibly helpful. One tactic is to breathe. Breathing helps to calm your system and keeps you from jumping in before the other person has finished speaking or saying something you wish you hadn’t.

Remember that it takes time to learn how to remain calm. This is especially true if you are discussing a topic that is very important to you. Taking time away from the conversation to calm down is always an option.

The Skill of Sharing

Part of being in a relationship and resolving conflicts is sharing your point of view. Being aware of what you think and being able to open up to others can feel intimidating. However, if you do not share your needs and perspective, it puts a barrier between you and other people. This inhibits the relationship from developing further. In treatment at Enlightenment Solutions, our clients learn to communicate with their mental health care providers, peers, and family members.

Learning to Compromise

The aim of coping with conflict is to work through problems with others with whom you have meaningful relationships. While it may not be necessary to compromise with a stranger, someone you may never see again, it is essential to do so with loved ones, family members, coworkers, and anyone you care about.

Learning to compromise takes time and requires listening, keeping a level head, and sharing. This is the action of working with another person or other people to find a solution that all can agree on. While this is not always possible, it can and does happen in many situations.

The Value of Improved Coping Skills for Conflict

Improving your coping skills to manage conflict is incredibly important. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), conflict is common in families where addiction is present. Therefore, in recovery from addiction to drugs or alcohol, you are likely to be required to manage different situations where others may disagree with you.

The value of these coping skills is that it helps you to be in honest relationships with others. These relationships provide support when needed. As humans, we are bound to disagree at some point. When you can cope with these disagreements and work through them, your relationships will expand and strengthen rather than disappear.

Conflicts are a normal part of human relationships. You will come across conflict in many individual relationships and groups. Coping with conflict, however, is very important in one’s recovery. The skills needed to do so will help you find connections with others and build a community of support. At Enlightened Solutions, we help our clients develop the skills they need for successful relationships. Clients learn to actively listen to others, share their feelings and opinions, and keep a level head while communicating about their issues. If you or a loved one is interested in learning more about our treatment programs, please reach out to us at (833) 801-LIVE today to speak with one of our caring staff members. 

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