Conflict is going to happen. Every personal relationship will have it. Perhaps you avoid conflict at all costs. Perhaps you wade through but cause more problems. Mintle wants readers to successfully talk through personal conflict and has written this book to help build the skills and attitudes necessary to do so.
Mintle argues that under the right conditions, relationships will grow in intimacy when conflict is handled properly. She helps us understand the causes of conflict, their styles, the skills needed, the benefits of facing conflict, instruction from the Bible, and good practices.
I was impressed with her helping us understand the current influence from the conflict model we have from childhood. That explained much of my own attitude toward conflict. She relates what happens when two people have different conflict styles and the price we pay when we avoid conflict altogether. She reminds us that we may need to readjust our expectations and be more flexible.
Mintle covers many interpersonal relationships. She has great teaching on marriage relationships, including in-laws, blended families, divorce, and much more. She has a wealth of information on expectations, values, and beliefs and how those affect conflict. She includes stories from her own counseling, giving great examples of how problems were worked out.
I learned a great deal from this book. She reminded me that working through conflict is pleasing to God and is helping the situation. And then there is this proven fact: “...[P]eople who deal with conflict live longer.” (42)
I think nearly everyone could benefit from this book. I highly recommend it.
Food for thought: “To truly keep the peace, one has to stay open to confronting problems.” (213)
Dr. Linda Mintle is a national speaker and a bestselling author. She is the Chair of the Division of Behavioral Health at the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Liberty University. She hosts her own BeliefNet blog, Doing Life Together. She lives in Virginia. Find out more at www.drlindamintle.com.
Baker Books, 256 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.