Turn Confrontation into Connectedness

confrontation to connectednessBe wise in how you respond in your relationships. Approach every conversation or confrontation with the intent to gain understanding into what makes them unique. Be slow to respond and quick to listen to gain clarity. We are all created differently to come together to accomplish great things. If we were all the same nothing would get done. Instead of becoming frustrated, we can rejoice in the way we are different. In fact, the following steps can turn a confrontation into connectedness when you put the focus onto learning about others.

Steps to Wise-Up to LEARN

  1. Listen without becoming defensive. Take a deep breath and bite your tongue if you have to! Pay attention and nod to demonstrate that you care and that you are listening. This does not mean that you agree, but your opinion or side of the story can be shared in a few minutes.
  2. Express appreciation for their thoughts, opinions, and feelings. We all want to be known and valued. We long for adoration, affirmation, and acceptance by people in our homes, businesses, and in our communities. Say, “I want to hear what you have to say.” I appreciate that you’re sharing how you feel.” I want to know where you’re coming from.”
  3. Ask questions to learn about the person to meet their need to be heard and to be known. If you’re in a disagreement, clarify by asking, “So, are you saying _________?” “I want to know you, can you tell me _________? (See list of questions below to learn.)
  4. Remember what s/he tells you and follow-up with a question about the test in Algebra or the meeting at work or by making her favorite meal or suggest watching his favorite show, or know the score of the football game.
  5. Notice behavior to identify feelings. Read body language to understand and learn what might not be said. Say something like, “I notice you seem (disappointed, frustrated, excited) today. What’s going on in your life?” Wise-up to the following areas, although it may appear insignificant, it can change your relationship.

Questions to ask to communicate that you care:

  • What is your favorite (food, book, movies and TV show)?
  • What’s happening at (work, school, soccer, etc.)?
  • Who do you admire on your team?
  • What do you like about your friend?
  • What are your plans for today?
  • If you could do anything this weekend what would you do?
  • Do you feel nurtured by being indoors or outside in nature?
  • Do you get energized with people or spending time alone?
  • What are your best memories or most challenging times?

Whether at work, home, or in your community slow down to hear the heart of those who are in your sphere of influence. Discover their likes, dislikes, and feelings. To gain insight into the person’s daily life will transform your relationship. Ask open-ended questions to discover their pain, perspective, and personality to live the life of purpose God has for you. You are created to care for others.

The enemy of this world wants to deceive, destroy, and distract you from living the abundant life God has for you. Satan is most successful at doing this by causing confusion, chaos, and misunderstandings in your relationships. The Bible says,

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:15-20).

For years I was defensive and blaming, but then I realized the enemy wanted to deceive me. Once I understood that my purpose is to minister love, grace, and mercy to the hearts of hurting people. Those of us who lash out or pull away are in pain. We all feel unloved, rejected, and misunderstood. That’s why it’s important to take every opportunity to be wise and not foolish in the words that we say. To argue or give the silent treatment is foolishness and pride. Does that mean we agree with everyone? No, of course not.

Stop to LEARN to demonstrate a heart of humility that will transform your life with the joy and peace that comes from living life God’s way. Rejoice in Him with a thankful heart that He is using you to minister the love of Jesus.

Dear Wise Father, Please give me wisdom and insight into my relationships. Help me to slow down to learn about others by being humble and taking the focus off of me. When I’m in a disagreement, please remind me to stop to listen to what they say instead of proving that I’m right and they are wrong or trying to defend myself. Help me to express appreciation for their thoughts, opinions, and viewpoints. Lord, let me slow down to ask questions to seek understanding and clarity to know those who I’m in relationship with. Help me to remember their likes and dislikes to prove my love and concern for them. Give me a sensitivity to how others are feeling that I may mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice. I praise you for every circumstance, conversation, and confrontation that gives me the opportunity demonstrate your love. I want to honor and glorify you everyday in Jesus name. Amen.

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