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7 Steps To Accept Tough Situations In Life

7 Steps To Accept Tough Situations In Life

No one ever promised that life would be fair. In fact, life is unfair often. Your ability to accept that life isn’t meant to be fair can go a long way when it comes to getting you through tough situations in life.

1. Acknowledge the Situation

Sometimes people try to stay in denial when they face a tough situation. However, the longer you try to avoid the problem, the longer it will take to address it.

Acknowledge the situation exists, regardless of how you feel about it. Be prepared to face the situation head on so you can get through it. Even if you can’t change the situation, acknowledging it can help you accept it and move on.

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2. Develop a Plan

Brainstorm potential ways to deal with the situation. You’re likely to have more options than you might think. Spend time thinking about how you can respond to a tough situation.

Even if you can’t fix it, you can develop a plan to cope with it. For example, determine who you can call on for support and how you can keep going even when you don’t feel like it.

3. Seek Help When Necessary

Asking for help can be a sign of strength and courage. Don’t be afraid to look for help in a variety of ways to help you cope with a tough situation in life.

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Whether you need some practical help, like a friend to proofread your resume, or you need emotional support from your grandmother, don’t expect others to know what you need. Tell people what they can do to be helpful and you’ll get your needs met much faster.

4. Change What You Can

Identify what is within your control and resolve to make change. For example, if you got fired because your boss was unfair, don’t waste your time dwelling on your anger. Instead, take action and begin applying for new jobs as soon as possible.

If you can’t change the situation, you may be able to change your attitude. For example, if you’re dealing with a death of your grandfather, you can’t do anything to bring him back. However, you can change how you choose to view the situation.

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Although it’s unlikely you can suddenly change your attitude over night, you can change it over time. It is a process that takes hard work. However, simply recognizing that you can use an attitude adjustment can go a long way to creating change.

5. Identify What You Can’t Change

Don’t waste time and energy trying to change things you can’t change. You can’t change anyone else and you can’t change your past. Spending too much time thinking about and wishing things were different won’t do any good.

Instead, accept that the situation is unfair and tough. Don’t pretend it’s not. But don’t waste a second trying to will it to be different.

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6. Develop Coping Skills to Deal with Your Feelings

Just because you acknowledge a situation is unfair, doesn’t mean it won’t hurt. Dealing with sadness, anger, frustration, and disappointment is tough business.

Develop a plan to cope with all those difficult feelings. Resign to take care of yourself by eating healthy, getting exercise, and getting adequate amounts of rest. Find strategies to deal with complex feelings, such as spending time with loved ones, journaling, or participating in fun activities.

7. Focus on What You Can Gain

Usually something good can come out of even the worst situations. Focus on what you might gain for having survived a tough situation.

Perhaps, you’ll come out of it a stronger person or maybe you’ll have learned a valuable life lesson. Whatever it is, try to view the situation as a learning experience that will help you in some way later in life.

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Amy Morin

A psychotherapist, psychology instructor, keynote speaker, and the author of the bestselling book 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do

12 Ways To Improve Social Skills And Make You Sociable Anytime 60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do 10 Surprising Benefits Of Having A Dog You Didn’t Know About 15 Things To Remember If You Want To Be Successful

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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