Dealing with Conflict in Your Community

Dealing with Conflict in Your Community

Conflict in your community can take many forms. There might be disagreements over various community matters, such as allocation of funding, and there might also be significant issues that need to be addressed, such as discrimination or crime. Conflict in your community can affect your everyday life, causing you anxiety and stress. You might feel like you can’t do anything to resolve the conflict or you don’t have a voice in the crowd. 

Your community can mean many things, from your neighborhood to your church or any social group that you might be part of. Any group of people connected by shared interests and concerns or even just a shared location can have disagreements and conflict, but knowing how to handle them helps you to skillfully navigate any issues. If you’re struggling to deal with conflict in your community, learning how to handle it in a healthy manner can make it easier to cope with the feelings that come up for you.

Recognizing What You Can and Cannot Change

One important thing to learn when dealing with conflict in your community is that there is often only so much that you personally can do. The one thing that you can completely control and influence are your own actions. While you can help to effect change within your community, many people often are needed to accomplish a desired outcome. Realizing and accepting this is essential if you want to successfully work together and minimize arguments and power struggles. Otherwise, you may end up falling short of your goal

Find Healthy and Proactive Ways to Deal with Conflict

If a conflict in your community is not addressed properly, it can create additional problems. As the issues grow and cause further fractures in your community, it can leave you feeling off-balance. You might have a lot of feelings about what’s happening but feel unsure about what you can do to make a difference.

The most important thing you can start with is understanding your initial reaction. Do you want to yell? Do you want to tell the person their point of view is stupid? Or do you want to dismiss the person altogether? Start by examining your urges to react and then once understood, decide on how you will choose to respond. Your actions, not your urges, will determine the outcome. Also, by taking a moment to understand what has come up for you can help you to better manage your feelings and deal with conflict more effectively. 

By using mindfulness, you are more aware of not just your feelings but also those of others and often gain insight about the situation itself. It gives you the opportunity to be more open-minded, avoid quick judgments and learn to accept and let go of things that need to be let go of and for those that need to be addressed, how to do that thoughtfully and calmly. Mindful practice can put you in a better position to address conflict in your community, take positive action, and ultimately be effective. 

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