This advice originally appeared in the 1993 Fall Lutheran Digest. It’s worth repeating.
- Before you say anything about anyone, ask yourself these things: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?
- Make promises sparingly and keep them faithfully.
- Never miss the opportunity to compliment or to say something encouraging to someone.
- Refuse to talk negatively about others; don’t gossip and don’t listen to gossip.
- Have a forgiving view of people. Believe that most people are doing the best that they can.
- Keep an open mind; discuss, but don’t argue. (It is possible to disagree without being disagreeable)
- Forget about counting to ten. Count to 1,000 before doing or saying anything that could make matters worse.
- Let your virtues speak for themselves.
- If someone criticizes you, see if there is any truth in what they are saying; if so, make changes. If there is no truth to the criticism, ignore it and live so that no one will believe the negative remark.
- Cultivate your sense of humor; laughter is the shortest distance between two people.
- Do not seek so much to be consoled as to console; do not seek to be understood, as to understand; do not seek so much to be loved, as to love
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8 (my addition!)
For more about conflict resolution see: