Conflict is a normal part of any relationship. It can actually be a positive thing as it can help you to understand the other person and yourself better. The most effective way to resolve conflict is to talk it over. So, if the person you have a problem with won't talk to you, you will have to find alternatives to hashing out issues verbally. Also, be mindful of when you should be silent and when to keep your distance.
Wait for an opportunity when you can be alone with the other person. Start off immediately with an apology. Admit any wrongs and express how sorry you are for what you have said or done to hurt her. Be honest and contrite. A sincere apology can go a long way in helping you to resolve conflict, effectively bringing closure to the issue, states Alex Lickerman, MD, in an article for Psychology Today. If she doesn't want to talk, she may attempt to walk away when you start speaking. Remember that she has the right to reject your apology, even if it is sincere. She may also need more time before she is ready to hear your apology.
Use other methods to get your message across. If he blocks attempts at verbal communication, make use of emails, text messaging or a written letter to extend your apology, suggests psychologist John M. Grohol, writing for Psych Central. Using one of these methods may even be easier for you than having a face to face conversation with someone who doesn't want to respond. Saying what you need to say in a written message will still allow you to clear your conscience as it puts the ball in his court to respond if he chooses.
Get help from someone outside of the situation. If none of the other attempts at resolution seem to be working and the conflict is beginning to affect your work or home environment negatively, you may have to bring in a third party, states the report, "Conflict Resolution," by the Workforce Management Office. This mediator may be your boss, a co-worker, a trusted friend, your pastor or a counselor. In this way, you may both begin a dialogue with each other through someone else, even if the other person doesn't initially want to speak directly to you.
- Make an effort to let go of any lingering frustration you have toward the other person. As Lickerman points out, when you approach the person with a sincere desire to repair the damage, and aren't worried about being right or "winning" the argument, it can soften her anger toward you.
- Be prepared for the possibility that even with your best efforts, you may still not be able to make this other person change his attitude toward you. Prepare for the possibility of getting a back turned on you or a door slammed in your face. However, you can take comfort in knowing that you made an effort.
Latoya Newman is a novelist who wrote and published her first novel in 2012. She has a background in education, research and counseling. She taught at the elementary level for eight years, and has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from York University in Toronto, Canada.