Preventing conflicts

hands together over the table team work

Tips to prevent conflicts 

Let’s face it. Conflicts are not something we want to happen. You take precautions not to crash your car, so why not take precautions to prevent conflicts in your home? Conflicts can consume significant mental and emotional energy, even long after the incident occurred. Let’s explore some ways you can prevent these conflicts from happening.

Honesty

Be honest and upfront about how you wish to share your home. Do not leave important things unsaid (like your deal-breakers), which can lead to resentment and tension in the household. For example, do you mind if your Guest uses your spices or flour? Let them know if it may bother you while doing your initial walk-through and introduction to the home.

Don’t delay

Do not ignore things that bother you. By bringing irritants to the attention of the other person, it will help you understand each other. If the Guest is not familiar with your methods or expectations, they may appear to be disrespectful; however, they are likely just misinformed. The earlier you discuss the irritants and how to resolve them, the easier it will be.

Don’t assume

Do not assume the other person knows what you are thinking. There are many ways people express themselves. Non-verbal clues or unclear instruction can often lead to conflict. When something needs to be done, explain it to the other person and ask them to repeat how they understand it.

Tip: Always associate a time with a task, for example:
Can you take out the garbage before 7:00 AM?

Effective communication

We have already covered effective communication strategies. Regularly practicing these skills is of vital importance to maintain a healthy relationship with your housing companions. Do not wait until there is a conflict to start communicating. You should practice every day to deepen your connection and understanding of one another and continually sharpen your skills. Talk about your good experiences, honest opinions about current affairs or some of the goals you are working towards. The more you communicate, the easier and less awkward it will be to talk about things that irritate you.

Help others

People tend to feel much greater reward from giving gifts than receiving them. One of the greatest gifts you can give is to help others, especially your fellow housing companions! This could involve helping them with a little more than your share of household chores or baking some cookies for everyone to share. You will likely find that the more you give, the more you will get. This interchange is one of the most powerful attributes of companion housing! What are some of your talents that could be of help to others? 

Be positive

When you are around happy and cheerful people, you will probably start to feel happy as well. Likewise, if you take negative emotions with you into the home, they will begin to permeate like a bad smell. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to flip your mindset like a switch.

Be consciously aware of how you feel before you enter your home. If you have negative emotions built up, try going for a walk outside to calm down. Chances are, this negativity is associated with something you are worried about. As published by the infamous psychologist Dr. Robert Leahy, “85% of the things we worry about never end up happening. Worrying about your problem will not change the outcome. In the interim of waiting for the result, you can save significant emotional energy by not worrying.

Passive aggressive

Have you ever felt angry with someone for something they did, but you felt uncomfortable confronting them about it? Holding onto this anger can lead to a very awkward situation that wears you out emotionally and mentally. This behaviour is very unhealthy and is usually associated with control. If you notice yourself in this situation, you should deal with the root of the problem right away.

What if others are passive-aggressive? You need to hold them accountable and address the issue. Usually, under the skin of passive-aggressive behaviour lies deep unhappiness. Work on your communication and provide the other person space to work through their problem.

Exercise

Click the self reflection exercise below .

Self reflection