Healing Conflict Quotes

Don’t look where you fall, but where you slipped. – African proverb

Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile, or the light won’t come in. – Alan Alda

Every problem has a gift for you in its hands. – Richard Bach

Never ascribe to an opponent motives meaner than your own. – John M. Barrie

Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret. – Ambrose Bierce

Marriage means expectations and expectations mean conflict. – Paxton Blair

Transformation comes more from pursuing profound questions than seeking practical answers. – Peter Block

Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future. – Paul Boese

The opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth. – Niels Bohr

Whenever you see darkness, there is extraordinary opportunity for the light to burn brighter. – Bono

There are two ways of meeting difficulties: You alter the difficulties or you alter yourself meeting them. – Phyllis Bottome

If war is the violent resolution of conflict, then peace is not the absence of conflict, but rather, the ability to resolve conflict without violence. – C.T. Lawrence Butler

Every noble work is at first impossible. – Thomas Carlyle

One of the most basic principles for making and keeping peace within and between nations…is that in political, military, moral, and spiritual confrontations, there should be an honest attempt at the reconciliation of differences before resorting to combat. – Jimmy Carter

Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today. – Cherokee proverb

If we don’t change the direction we are going, we are likely to end up where we are heading. – Chinese Proverb

Tell me, I may listen. Teach me, I may remember. Involve me, I will do it. – Chinese Proverb

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. – Winston Churchill

A pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty. – Winston Churchill

Every conflict we face in life is rich with positive and negative potential. It can be a source of inspiration, enlightenment, learning, transformation, and growth–or rage, fear, shame, entrapment, and resistance. The choice is not up to our opponents, but to us, and our willingness to face and work through them. – Kenneth Cloke and Joan Goldsmith

One might as well try to ride two horses moving in different directions, as to try to maintain in equal force two opposing or contradictory sets of desires. – Robert Collier

You can’t talk your way out of something you behaved your way into. You have to behave your way out of it. – Doug Conant (CEO of Campbell Soup, as quoted in Harvard Business Review)

Every word has three definitions and three interpretations. – Costa Rican proverb

If I were to summarize in one sentence the single most important principle I have learned in the field of interpersonal relations, it would be this: Seek first to understand, then to be understood. This principle is the key to effective interpersonal communication. – Stephen Covey

The quality of our lives depends not on whether or not we have conflicts, but on how we respond to them. – Tom Crum

There is little value in preparing a cookbook of recipes for conflict success. The effects of conflict interaction depend directly on what the participants do mentally with conflict behaviors—that is, how they process and interpret those behaviors. – William Cupach & Daniel Canary

I believe that the basic nature of human beings is gentle and compassionate. It is therefore in our own interest to encourage that nature, to make it live within us, to leave room for it to develop. If on the contrary we use violence, it is as if we voluntarily obstruct the positive side of human nature and prevent its evolution. – His Holiness the Dalai Lama

If you understood everything I said, you’d be me. – Miles Davis

Conflict is the gadfly of thought. It stirs us to observation and memory. It instigates to invention. It shocks us out of sheeplike passivity, and sets us at noting and contriving. – John Dewey

Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for the truth. – Benjamin Disraeli

Every person in this life has something to teach me—and as soon as I accept that, I open myself to truly listening. – Catherine Doucette

The only difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is the way in which we use them. – Adriana Doyle

When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change. – Wayne Dyer

Whenever two good people argue over principles, they are both right. – Marie Ebner von Eschenbach

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. – Albert Einstein

Any fool can know. The point is to understand. – Albert Einstein

A problem is your chance to do your best. – Duke Ellington

Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

People are disturbed not by things, but by the view they take of them. – Epictetus

We can often do more for other men by trying to correct our own faults than by trying to correct theirs. – Francois Fenelon

What people often mean by getting rid of conflict is getting rid of diversity, and it is of utmost importance that these should not be considered the same. We may wish to abolish conflict, but we cannot get rid of diversity…Fear of difference is fear of life itself. – Mary Parker Follett

It is possible to conceive conflict as not necessarily a wasteful outbreak of incompatibilities, but a normal process by which socially valuable differences register themselves for the enrichment of all concerned. – Mary Parker Follett

Don’t find fault. Find a remedy. – Henry Ford

Between stimulus and response is the freedom to choose. – Viktor Frankl

If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins. – Benjamin Franklin

Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment. – Benjamin Franklin

Don’t ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up. – Robert Frost

You can never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete. – Buckminister Fuller

Don’t fight forces; use them. – Buckminster Fuller

You can’t shake hands with a clenched fist. – Indira Gandhi

… what may appear as the truth to one person will often appear as untruth to another person. But that need not worry the seeker. Where there is honest effort, it will be realized that what appeared to be different truths are like the countless and apparently different leaves of the same tree. – Gandhi

Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it stands than to anything on which it is poured. – Gandhi

Every fight is on some level a fight between differing ‘angles of vision’ illuminating the

same truth. – Gandhi

The days are too short even for love; how can there be enough time for quarreling? – Margaret Gatty

Listening is not waiting to talk. – Scott Ginsberg

My long experience has taught me to resolve conflict by raising the issues before I or others burn their boats. – Alistair Grant

We mistakenly believe that if our partners love us, they will act and behave in certain ways—the ways we react and behave when we love someone. – John Gray

You can blame people who knock things over in the dark or you can begin to light candles. You’re only at fault if you know about the problem and choose to do nothing. – Paul Hawken

To truly listen is to risk being changed forever. – Sakej Henderson

An enemy is a person whose story we have not heard. – Gene Knudsen Hoffman

The great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving. – Oliver Wendell Holmes

We are enslaved by anything we do not consciously see. We are freed by conscious perception.

– Vernon Howard

Our happiness or our unhappiness depends far more on the way we meet the events of life than on the nature of those events themselves. – Wilhelm von Humboldt

Whenever you’re in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude. – William James

Whenever two people meet there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other sees him, and each man as he really is. – William James

When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice. – William James

Which hurts the most, saying something and wishing you had not, or saying nothing and wishing you had? –Javan

Always pass a plate of forgiveness before each verbal feast. – Anabel Jensen

What you don’t see with your eyes, don’t witness with your mouth. – Jewish Proverb

Nothing changes more consistently than the past; the past that influences our lives is not what objectively happened, but what we believe happened. – Gerald W. Johnson

Never ruin an apology with an excuse. – Kimberly Johnson

If you’re not listening, you’re not learning. – L.B. Johnson

An apology is the superglue of life. It can repair just about anything. – Lynn Johnston

Nothing produces such odd results as trying to get even. – Franklin P. Jones

The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but progress. – Joseph Joubert

Never cut what you can untie. – Joseph Joubert

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. – Carl Jung

In business, you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate. – Chester Karrass

I do not want the peace that passeth understanding. I want the understanding which bringeth peace. – Helen Keller

Our task is not to fix blame for the past, but to fix the course for the future. – John F. Kennedy

If we cannot end our differences at least we can make the world safe for diversity. – John F. Kennedy

Having a good discussion is like having riches. – Kenyan proverb

Vengeance is a lazy form of grief. – Nicole Kidman as Silvia Broome, The Interpreter

Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

It all boils down to this: That all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied to a single garment of destiny. – Martin Luther King

Words can destroy. What we call each other ultimately becomes what we think of each other, and it matters. – Jean Kirkpatrick

Every person you fight with has many other people in his life with whom he gets along quite well. You cannot look at a person who seems difficult to you without also looking at yourself. – Jeffrey Kottler

How do you listen? Do you listen with your projections, through your projection, through your ambitions, desire, fears, anxieties, through hearing only what you want to hear, only what will be satisfactory, what will gratify, what will give comfort, what will for the moment alleviate your suffering? If you listen through the screen of your desires, then you obviously listen to your own voice. – J. Krishnamurti

We and you ought not to pull on the ends of a rope. Would you have tied the knots of war? Because the more the two of us pull, the tighter the knot will be tied, and then it will be necessary to cut that knot. And what that would mean is not for me to explain to you. – Nikita Kruschev

When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge. – Tuli Kupferberg

Never attribute to malice or other deliberate decision what can be explained by human frailty, imperfection, or ignorance. – Rabbi Harold Kushner

Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you’d have preferred to talk. – Doug Larson

Behind the cloud the sun is still shining. – Abraham Lincoln

A crisis is a turning point. – Anne Lindthorst

Many a time I have wanted to stop talking and find out what I really believed. – Walter Lippmann

Where all think alike, no one thinks very much. – Walter Lippmann

If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each person’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility. – Longfellow

Instead of suppressing conflicts, specific channels could be created to make this conflict explicit, and specific methods could be set up by which the conflict is resolved. – Albert Low

What we see depends mainly on what we look for. – Sir John Lubbock

Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional. – Max Lucade

Don’t be afraid of opposition. Remember, a kite rises against, not with, the wind. – Hamilton Mabie

A marriage without conflicts is almost as inconceivable as a nation without crises. – Andre Maurois

The Earth is too small a star and we too brief a visitor upon it for anything to matter more than the struggle for peace. – Colman McCarthy

Eighty percent of all questions are statements in disguise. – Dr. Phil McGraw

Since the general or prevailing opinion on any subject is rarely or never the whole truth, it is only by the collision of adverse opinion that the remainder of the truth has any chance of being supplied. – John Stuart Mill

A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he gets to know something. – Wilson Mizner

There is no way to peace. Peace is the way. – A. J. Muste

The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place, but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment. – Dorothy Nevill

Deep listening, compassionate listening is not listening with the purpose of analyzing or even uncovering what has happened in the past. You listen first of all in order to give the other person relief, a chance to speak out, to feel that someone finally understands him or her. Deep listening is the kind of listening that helps us to keep compassion alive while the other speaks…During this time you have in mind only one idea, one desire: to listen in order to give the other person the chance to speak out and suffer less. This is your only purpose. Other things like analyzing, understanding the past, can be a by-produce of this work. But first of all listen with compassion. – Thich Nhat Hanh

The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them. – Ralph Nichols

We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are. – Anais Nin

The courts of this country should not be the places where resolution of disputes begins. They should be the places where the disputes end after alternative methods of resolving disputes have been considered and tried. – Justice Sandra Day O’Connor

The more we sweat in peace the less we bleed in war. – Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit

To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong. – Joseph Chilton Pearce

You never really understand a person until you consider things for his point of view. – Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch

The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers. – M. Scott Peck

A man convinced against his will…is not convinced. – Laurence J. Peter

My problem is I say what I’m thinking before I think what I’m saying. – Laurence J. Peter

Not only are there as many conflicting truths as there are people to claim them; there are equally multitudinous and conflicting truths within the individual. – Virgilia Peterson

Not every truth is the better for showing its face undisguised; and often silence is the wisest thing for a man to heed. – Pindar

Discussion is an exchange of knowledge; argument an exchange of emotion. – Robert Quillen

You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake. – Jeanette Rankin

I’ve always believed that a lot of the troubles in the world would disappear if we were talking to each other instead of about each other. – Ronald Reagan

Quarrels would not last long if the fault were only on one side. – Duke François de La Rochefoucauld

It is astonishing how elements which seem insoluble become soluble when someone listens. How confusions which seem irremediable turn into relatively clear flowing streams when one is heard. – Carl Rogers

If it’s mentionable, it’s manageable. – Mr. Rogers

Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today. – Will Rogers

The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem. – Theodore Rubin, M.D., psychiatrist and author

Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind; they are in a completely different world from the one we live in. When we take something personally, we make the assumption that they know what is in our world, and we try to impose our world on their world. – don Miguel Ruiz

Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there. – Rumi

In all affairs it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted. – Bertrand Russell

The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution. – Bertrand Russell

It is with the heart that one sees rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Human beings love to be right. When a person is willing to give up being right, a whole world of possibilities opens up. – Pete Salmansohn

The test of a successful person is not an ability to eliminate all problems before they arise, but to meet and work out difficulties when they do arise. – David J. Schwartz

Why not go out on a limb? Isn’t that where the fruit is? – Frank Scully

Before you speak, ask yourself: Is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve on the silence? – Shirdi Sai Baba

When things are not working for us, instead of fighting and struggling, we need to say, “What’s happening here? How am I not being true to who I am? What is pulling me away from my purpose?” – June Singer

The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you. – John E. Southard

It takes two to quarrel, but only one to end it. – Spanish Proverb

The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn. – Gloria Steinem

Confidence, like art, never comes from having all the answers; it comes from being open to all the questions. – Earl Gray Stevens

The wise man doesn’t give the right answers, he poses the right questions. – Claude Levi-Strauss

Life is ten percent what happens to me and ninety percent how I react to it. – Charles Swindoll

The argument culture urges us to approach the world—and the people in it—in an adversarial frame of mind. It rests on the assumption that opposition is the best way to get anything done: The best way to discuss an idea is to set up a debate; the best way to cover news is to find spokespeople who express the most extreme, polarized views and present them as “both sides”; the best way to settle disputes is litigation that pits one party against the other; the best way to begin an essay is to attack someone; and the best way to show you’re really thinking is to criticize…Conflict and opposition are as necessary as cooperation and agreement, but the scale is off balance, with conflict and opposition over-weighted. – Deborah Tannen

If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow. – Carol Tavris

We belong to each other. – Mother Teresa

It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the action that we do. – Mother Teresa

Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of creative alternatives for responding to conflict—alternatives to passive or aggressive responses, alternatives to violence. – Dorothy Thompson

It takes two to speak the truth—one to speak and one to hear. – Henry David Thoreau

Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness. – James Thurber

Well, if I called the wrong number, why did you answer the phone? – James Thurber

There is a world of difference between reacting to an event in your life and responding to it. When you re-act, you are acting again, repeating a previous action. To respond implies a spontaneous and appropriate response to the situation. – Michael Toms and Justine Willis Toms

A good manager doesn’t try to eliminate conflict; he tries to keep it from wasting the energies of his people. If you’re the boss and your people fight you openly when they think that you are wrong – that’s healthy. – Robert Townsend

Knowledge becomes wisdom only after it has been put to good use. – Mark Twain

We could learn a lot from crayons: some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, some have weird names, and all are different colors…but they all exist very nicely in the same box. – Unknown

People who fight fire with fire usually end up with ashes. – Abigail VanBuren

Creativity comes from a conflict of ideas. – Donatella Versace

Appreciation is a wonderful thing: it makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well. – Voltaire

People may claim, “We are aggressive by nature”—I say we shouldn’t delude ourselves about how aggressive we are. We can breed pit bull terriers to be aggressive; we can breed mice to be aggressive; and while I hope no one will ever do it, we could probably breed people to be aggressive. There is a genetic component, I’m convinced, in human aggressive behavior. But at the same time it is clear that we also have lot of natural mechanisms for cooperation, to keep conflict in check, to channel aggression, and to overcome conflict. These are just as natural to us as the aggressive tendencies. – Frans de Waal

It isn’t a mistake to have strong views. The mistake is to have nothing else. – Anthony Weston

I’ve found that I can only change how I act if I stay aware of my beliefs and assumptions. Thoughts always reveal themselves in behavior. – Margaret Wheatley

Have you learned lessons only of those who admired you, and were tender with you, and

stood aside for you? Have you not learned great lessons from those who braced themselves

against you, and disputed the passage with you? – Walt Whitman

I would not waste my life in friction when it could be turned into momentum. – Frances Willard

Many promising reconciliations have broken down because, while both parties come prepared to forgive, neither party comes prepared to be forgiven. – Charles Williams

What I know for sure is that the only way to endure the quake is to adjust your stance. You can’t avoid the daily tremors. Don’t fight them. Just find a different way to stand. –Oprah Winfrey

Assumptions are the termites of relationships. – Henry Winkler

Isn’t the best way to save face to keep the lower part shut? – Steven Wright

(from www.lenski.com)