Why conflict feels bad and how to make it feel better

Do you remember how tight your throat felt last time you argued with your bestie? You couldn’t sleep and you felt like you had a huge rock in your stomach. It was all you could think about and it felt like the world had stopped and you were stuck in a house of pain.

It was hell and you promised yourself not to ever feel this way again.

How can I make it go away?

The truth is that conflict is unavoidable in life as everyone has their own opinions, their own values, their own perspective on life or a situation and of course, their own feelings.

However, you don’t have to live in the house of pain each time you argue with your friends or disagree with someone.

But how?

If you can’t control what is happening around you, you can always choose how you react to the friction and tension in your life.

Firstly, see how much better a conflict feels when it is called friction or tension? By naming it, you make it a practical problem instead of a ball of knotted feelings that turns your stomach upside down.

Once you have turned it into a practical problem, you can find a solution to resolve the conflict and feel better.

Take some time out to think

Do something you love, like dancing, listening to some music, drawing or simply applying a face mask and pampering. It will release endorphins (your happy hormones) and help you to see the situation from a more positive perspective.

The time will also give you a chance to process the issue more rationally (with your head instead of your heart). Write down what happened, what caused the conflict, what you said, what you feel. Then ask yourself how you could have handled the situation better and if there is a way to resolve the issue, so you are both are happy. Think Win-Win, not I win, they lose. Because nobody wants to be a winner who has no friends in life.

Put yourself in your friend’s shoes

(well not in their actual shoes, but you get it)

There are good chances that neither of you actually listened to the other one’s point of view with proper attention because everyone’s emotions were too distracting, right?

So, try to understand the situation from their perspective. What do you see? By having more empathy (understanding the other person’s feelings), you gain a new perspective on the situation and you can find ways to find a solution that not only suits them but you too.

Conflicts don’t have to be bad, having different opinions is healthy

We don’t have to all think and feel the same way. Actually, it would be boring if we did. Our differences can be a good thing because we bring new perspectives and experiences to each other. By bringing new ideas and opinions to your life, your friend may help you to grow.

If you still feel overwhelmed and feel like you need a little extra help, and if you don’t feel like talking to someone you know, you can reach out to Youthline.  Youthline provides a 24/7 Helpline service that is made for young people who are facing challenges. It’s free and you can contact them by text, email, phone or webchat for counselling support. The team are friendly and know how to help you so it’s a safe place to share your worries.  Youthline is a great place to learn more about mental health issues, well-being and personal development. Head to their website www.youthline.co.nz if you want to understand more.