Addressing conflict cleanly

By Dave Henning / February 18, 2023

“Addressing conflict cleanly might feel like a new language is being learned.  In truth, you are learning something new.  You are being invited to speak from your soul — the vulnerable, tender, animating part of yourself that tends to be hidden under the hard exterior of anger.”- Rich Villodas

“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their faults, just between the two of you.”- Matthew 18:15 (NIV)

Rich Villodas continues Chapter 7 of Good and Beautiful and Kind with the second lesson learned through Peter and Paul’s conflict.  Certainly, as Paul did, the first step involves going directly to the person with whom there’s conflict.  But when you get there, what needs to take place next?  The answer, Rich suggests, is rather simple.  But it requires much of us.

2.  Healthy conflict requires healthy speaking.  Despite all the words we learns and sentences we expertly put together, there remains an aspect of speaking that goes deeper.  Deeper, Pastor Villodas observes, than conjugation and fine articulation.  And that’s an aspect called soul speech.

Therefore, when we attempt to explore our hurt, disappointment, or frustration, a vast treasure trove of humungous words fails to meet our true needs.  Instead, we need plainness of heart and clarity of speech.

As a result, that rules out dirty fighting, the default mode for most people.  Because in dirty fighting we disregard our own experiences or diminish others through the way we speak.  Thus, dirty fighting tactics include the silent treatment, lecturing, condescension, name-calling, and sarcasm.

However, Rich underscores, clean fighting offers the opportunity for honesty, integrity, respect, attunement, and healing.  In conclusion, the author explains:

“But the goal of learning [clean fighting] is to familiarize yourself with particular words, to make your speech reflect internal clarity.  Phrases like I notice, I value, and I feel go a long way in connecting with others.  To state a request with clarity and respect is also an affirmation of your dignity and an act of love.”

Today’s question: What provides the greatest help in addressing conflict cleanly?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Listening well – experiencing grace”

About the author

Dave Henning

Leave a comment:

Call Now Button