Lesson 7: Conflict Resolution Model – Alternatives for Expressing Anger, Part 2
Checking In This Week
As you look at your homework you completed for last week, what was the highest level of anger you reached on the anger meter? Be sure you reserved the number 10 for situations where you lost control of your anger and experienced negative consequences.
Be sure you described the anger-provoking event that led to your highest level of anger.
Make sure you included the cues that occurred in response to the anger-provoking event.
Where did the cues fall in the cue catagories (physicial, behavioral, emotional, or cognitive)?
What strategies you did you use to either avoid reaching 10 on the anger meter or recovering after reaching 10?
Conflict Resolution Model
One method of acting assertively is to use the Conflict Resolution Model, which involves five steps that can easily be memorized. The first step involves identifying the problem that is causing the conflict. It is important to be specific when identifying the problem. In this example, the problem causing the conflict is that your friend is late. The second step involves identifying the feelings associated with the conflict.
In this example, you may feel annoyance, frustration, or taken for granted. The third step involves identifying the specific impact of the problem that is causing the conflict. In this example, the impact or outcome is that you are late for the meeting. The fourth step involves deciding whether to resolve the conflict or let it go. This may best be phrased by the questions, Is the conflict important enough to bring up? If I do not try to resolve this issue, will it lead to feelings of anger and resentment? If you decide that the conflict is important enough, then the fifth step is necessary. The fifth step is to address and resolve the conflict. This involves checking out the schedule of the other person. The schedule is important because you might bring up the conflict when the other person does not have the time to address it or when he or she may be preoccupied with another issue.
Once you have agreed on a time with the person, you can describe the conflict, your feelings, and the impact of the conflict and ask for a resolution.
For example, the interaction may sound like this:
Joe: Hey, Frank, sorry I’m late.
Frank: Hi, Joe. Can I talk to you about that?
Joe: Sure. Is something wrong?
Frank: Joe, I’ve noticed you’ve been late for the last few days when I’ve come to pick you up. Today, I realized that I was starting to feel frustrated and a bit taken for granted. When you are late, we are both late for the meeting, which makes me uncomfortable. I like to be on time. I’m wondering if you can make an effort to be on time in the future.
Joe: Frank, I didn’t realize how bothered you were about that. I apologize for being late, and I will be on time in the future. I’m glad you brought this problem up to me.
Of course, this is an idealized version of an outcome that may be achieved with the Conflict Resolution Model. Joe could have responded unfavorably, or defensively, by accusing Frank of making a big deal out of nothing. Joe may have minimized and discounted Frank’s feelings, leaving the conflict unresolved.
The Conflict Resolution Model is useful even when conflicts are not resolved. Many times, you will feel better about trying to resolve a conflict in an assertive manner rather than acting passively or aggressively. Specifically, you may feel that you have done all that you could do to resolve the conflict. In this example, if Frank decided not to give Joe a ride in the future, or if Frank decided to end his friendship with Joe, he could do so knowing that he first tried to resolve the conflict in an assertive manner.
The Conflict Resolution Model
1. Identify the problem that is causing the conflict
2. Identify the feelings that are associated with the conflict
3. Identify the impact of the problem that is causing the conflict
4. Decide whether to resolve the conflict
5. Work for resolution of the conflict
How would you like the problem to be resolved? Is a compromise needed?
The Conflict Resolution Model is one method you can use to act assertively. It involves five steps that can easily be memorized.
1) Identifying the Problem. This step involves identifying the specific problem that is causing the conflict (e.g., a friend’s not being on time when you come to pick him or her up).
2) Identifying the Feelings. In this step, you identify the feelings associated with the conflict (e.g., frustration, hurt, or annoyance).
3) Identifying the Specific Impact. This step involves identifying the specific impact or outcome of the problem that is causing the conflict (e.g., being late for the meeting that you and your friend plan to attend).
4) Deciding Whether To Resolve the Conflict. This step involves deciding whether to resolve the conflict or let it go. In other words, is the conflict important enough to bring up?
5) Addressing and Resolving the Conflict. In this step, you set up a time to address the conflict, describe how you perceive it, express your feelings about it, and discuss how it can be resolved.
What is the purpose of using the Conflict Resolution Model?
Identify the five steps of the Conflict Resolution Model, and apply it to an example of your own.
Monitor and record your highest level of anger on the anger meter during the coming week. Identify the event that made you angry, the cues that were associated with the anger-provoking event, and the strategies you used to manage your anger in response to the event.
Practice using the Conflict Resolution Model, preferably once a day during the coming week. Don’t forget to continue to develop their anger control plans.
For the day with the highest number, identify the event that triggered your anger, the cues that were associated with your anger, and the strategies you used to manage your anger in response to the event.
Use the following questions for your weekly review before completing the next lesson:
- What was the highest number you reached on the anger meter during the past week?
- What was the event that triggered your anger?
- What cues were associated with the anger-provoking event?
- What strategies did you use to avoid reaching 10 on the anger meter?
For each day of the upcoming week, monitor and record the highest number you reach on the anger meter.
_____ M _____ T _____ W _____ Th _____ F _____ Sat _____ Sun
Review – Four Cue Categories
1. Physical (examples: rapid heartbeat, tightness in chest, feeling hot or flushed)
2. Behavioral (examples: pacing, clenching fists, raising voice, staring)
3. Emotional (examples: fear, hurt, jealousy, guilt)
4. Cognitive/Thoughts (examples: hostile self-talk, images of aggression and revenge)