Knowing ways to stop conflict in quarantine will help in these tense times, and in all times. But now more than ever our nerves are really on edge. For most Americans, life took a weird turn this past week. For the first time, we find ourselves under, “Safer At Home,” orders by the state government to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 Virus. This means we can only go outside for essential trips or outdoor, solo exercise in a safe location. Even though many of us like being at home, being government mandated makes it feel quite different. This also goes against everything the recovery society is all about: ‘meeting makers make it.’

For now meetings are out

This isolation puts people at risk for relapse and is hard in other ways. The patience of even those with the most mellow of personalities are going to be tested. But, this is our reality for now, so let’s figure out what to do. Because that’s what we do in recovery–we find solutions.

Conflict in quarantine is unavoidable but there are ways to lessen the drama

Conflict is going to arise in normal life, under stressful circumstances, the chances of an explosion are even greater so remember that everyone is struggling. If you are in a household with multiple people, or even just one other person, how do you stay calm and avoid serious conflict so it remains safer at home?

Here are some ways to stop the conflict

First, remember, when someone starts to get upset, they’re usually coming from a place of where they feel they aren’t being heard. That brings us to our first strategy for how to stop conflict. Here are some ways to manage tempers from 100 Tips For Growing up.

Listen to what your loved ones are saying

Most people want to be heard and understood. Take the time to listen to what they are saying. Then process it and respond when you have something productive to say. This is not the time for pointing fingers or using the blame or shame game. It won’t get you the result you want.

Phrases, now’s the time to diffuse rather than escalate

When situations are beginning to escalate, use phrases like, “Yes, I hear you…,” and, “You may be right, let’s see what happens…” These will help the other person feel respected and know you’re open to another possibility. You want to be in the business of diffusing situations, not making them worse.

Stay calm, don’t allow your temper to take over

For the love of God, don’t lose your temper. Once one person goes off the deep end, the natural response is to escalate. Do your best to stay calm and stop conflict from escalating. If you feel that heat rise, step outside the room or home if you can. Pause. Pause again. Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy for the next few weeks to month?

Apologize to soothe another person’s pain

If someone is telling you that you’ve done something that offends them or hurts their feelings, then apologize. Maybe you didn’t mean to hurt them but that’s not the point. We’re trying to get along with other people, here. This is not the time to spend hours on talking points to defend your actions. Say sorry and stop the pain.

Stop the escalation by agreeing to disagree

If you find yourself in a situation where tempers are escalating and it’s getting out-of-control, ask for a truce. We’re in a time of war right now. It’s better if it’s us against them. You may not be having an easy time with someone in the home, but the virus enemy outside is the bigger problem. Find a way to raise the white flag and agree to disagree.

These are just a few tips on a big subject but give them a try and see how they work for you!

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Lindsey Glass

Lindsey Glass is the co-founder of Reach Out Recovery. Her 2016 ASAM Media Award winning documentary, The Secret World Of Recovery, has helped to lift the stigma from addiction and recovery and is used in recovery programs nationwide to show what life is like on the other side of addiction. Lindsey's teen prevention documentary, The Silent Majority, was distributed to PBS stations nationwide by American Public Television in 2014-15. Lindsey has written dozens of popular articles on recovery. She is a recovery advocate and frequent keynote speaker. Lindsey is the author of 100 Tips for Growing Up, My 20 Years of Recovery, 2019. Before focusing on recovery, Lindsey was a TV and screenwriter. She has worked in publishing, web development, and marketing.


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