How to solve conflict

What are my needs?

For many this question can be confronting, it brings awareness of the empty space where there isn’t any immediate answers.

Except perhaps, ‘I don’t know.’

There might not be a quick way to get in touch with needs, especially after a lifetime of dismissing them, but it is important to start somewhere… to feel softly into the internal world of our body and heart with the gentle probe: dear one, what do you need, today?

Once we’re aware of what our own needs are, it is easier to find a graceful path to meeting them. It doesn’t look like making inconsiderate demands upon others, which is an over-correction if we haven’t had them met in the past. Instead it could be shifting our own routines, rituals, or ways of showing up at home, at work, in community.

We take responsibility and ownership for making ourselves feel seen, heard and taken care of, by first taking the action that embodies meeting our needs – rather than placing our needs onto the other.

For example:

I may need less app notifications for my mental wellbeing. I am able to ‘mute’ group chats temporarily and check in when I have capacity.

In some instances the surroundings may not be accommodating for our needs, and that may require verbal/written requests, conversations, negotiations. Non-violent communication is a great resource.

I think it is important to remind ourselves and our nervous systems that we can escalate slowly. We can first start with a gentle internal enquiry into what our own needs are and then go about making some small shifts in our actions.

If we get to this point and still require support with meeting our needs, it might be time for a grounded conversation to brain storm ways to solve the puzzle of meeting everyone’s needs.

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