Self-negotiation strategies to resolve intrapersonal conflicts

Every single day, we are faced with the dilemma of making a choice for ourselves. One would presume that because there is no second party involved that it would be much easier to reach a decision, however this is not the case.

The choices we have to make daily ranging from the basic things like choosing between wearing heels and flat shoes, taking that walk or run or sleeping through the time, taking time to study or going to the cinema; to the seemingly complex decisions like when to get married, quitting your job, starting your business, going through a surgical procedure; these and many more are decisions that we do not make slightly.

We find ourselves ruminating and juxtaposing the implications of either of the choices. Sometimes we keep postponing the simple ones to the last minute and the complex ones to when it has become critical to make a choice. So how do we manage these conflicts in our minds? We practise self-negotiation. Self-negotiation is one of the best skills to acquire before we can begin negotiating with other parties. This isn’t new to us, we do it every day. We wake up in the morning and consider howbeit briefly whether to study the devotion or open our mails, whether to take the public bus or take a cab. Every day we negotiate with ourselves.

Therefore it is important that we embrace the act of self-negotiation so as to make or reach better and faster decisions. The following strategies will not only provide the self-help needed to solve intrapersonal conflicts but also provide useful pointers for interpersonal conflict resolution.

1. Take a mental break and relax

Irrespective of the type of conflict or the number of the individuals or groups involved, the very first step in handling the situation is to take a step back. Take a break from the whole situation, take a seat, a deep breath and exhale. Then repeat the actions for at least two minutes. Clear your head because conflicts get easily overwhelming and it is quite exerting. To be able to make any significant progress, it is necessary not to be in over one’s head.

2. Know your needs and expectations
You should know that you cannot have a meaningful life if you do not know what your needs and expectations are. In fact one of the first things we learn in economics is scale of preference. You have to be able to distinguish your needs from your wants and then your immediate needs from those that can wait. This scale allows us to check and see at a glance what our needs really are. Sometimes we find ourselves buying a lot of things only to later discover we do not have a use for them after all. Our expectations on the other hand are those things we have marked out to achieve to make us feel good about ourselves.

3. Highlight the cons and pros of the situation
Even though we know our needs and expectations, most times they do not sink in until we have systematically written down the whys and the why nots; the consequences of the decisions. If for instance, I am in a dilemma between quitting my job and starting my own business. I would write down what I am most likely to gain and lose as a result of quitting and those things I am likely to gain and lose from starting a business of my own.

4. Weigh the highlights with your needs and expectations
The next step is to weigh the highlights above with your needs and expectations. It becomes easier to make a decision at the juncture. You can easily pinpoint the best or the better option of your conflicting options.

5. Go for the option that best aligns with your needs
Lastly, go for the option that aligns with your needs and expectations the most. It is possible to have other options that also align but there would usually be that one that has the most points.

By practising these strategies you will be able to make better and faster decisions while solving your basic internal conflicts.

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