When I help people resolve their differences or deal with conflict I've consistently noticed that the nature of their interactions is deeply affected by how people feel about themselves.  When people feel fulfilled and whole they are far more likely to seek ways to connect with others.  If they come from a place of pain they behave in ways that mirror that inner conflict.  There is no value judgment to either approach, people simply function based on their inner dialogue and beliefs about the world.  Many people do not yet consciously recognize that their behavior is based on how they feel inside and that there are ways they could improve their interactions and enjoy life more.  The challenge in fostering peace is to make it possible for people to move beyond their personal perspective and find ways to look outside themselves and connect with others.  I've found it helpful to help people do some of the following things to move toward peace. 


  • Celebrate who they are deep inside.
  • Live a life based on cherished talents and abilities.
  • Build self-awareness by observing and analyzing their own behaviors.
  • Think of what is triggering their responses and reactions.
  • Identify ways to calm and balance themselves.
  • Learn how to have conversations with others.
  • Listen to others without reacting or interrupting.
  • Suspend judgment of people and situations.
  • Practice thoughts and activities that bring inner calm.
  • Meet and interact with people with different worldviews.
  • Be as healthy as possible.
  • Do one peaceful thing at a time.


An important element in helping people behave peacefully is to suggest that there are viable alternatives to anger and retaliation.  People behave confrontationally because they feel they have no other option or they simply have never learned any other approach.  Paradoxically, once they find the peaceful place inside them they realize that there is a way to behave that feels much better.  It's up to them if they choose to follow the path of peace and keep the momentum going.  We can be there for them, especially if we've reached a point where peace resides inside us.


Take care,





Views: 77

Tags: behavior, celebrate, conflict, interact, interactions, judgment, peace, peaceful, worldviews


You need to be a member of Peace and Collaborative Development Network to add comments!

Join Peace and Collaborative Development Network

Comment by Paudyal, Dhruba P. on November 3, 2011 at 1:46am

Absolutely agree. My friend, every one has to exercise such tips but only very few adapt them. I have no doubt that these are the only successful mechanism to achieve peace. Extending the outreach of such fruitful tips is very complex. Still your ideas are valued ones. Great!

Comment by Fieyim Anomboundem Njonguo on June 9, 2011 at 6:09pm
Wow wow wow! These are very few words but with far reaching positive effects. Thanks for this superb contribution. Please, keep them coming...
Comment by amandio amaral freitas on June 5, 2011 at 11:40am

Reconciliation and building trust among peoples are very important in post conflict situation, the peace process begin when peoples are trust to each other and the politic leaders. To secure peace resides inside, frequency of dilog need to be done both in small or big groups and other activities need to be conducted like sport among youth, cultural event becouse peoples are need assimilation. 


Comment by Ali Gohar (Alibaba) on June 5, 2011 at 10:27am

we are based at Peshawar Pakistan working for peacebuilding across border in Pakistan & Afghanistan.I developed peace and conflict transformation manual,where the focus of change is on inside .For that,we take start from Human need(on the top Peace-Inside and out side both) then  take Human Soual,quote the Koran where in Koran Human Soual has three type of inclination,Ammara,Lawamma,and mutamaena.Doing good for ever(propohet and saint Soul),doing bad for ever(Satan soul) and doing bad,feel guilty repentence,begging for forgiveness, from here we go to the third step Human Right,How indivdual and other rights affect you inside with examples,It immediatly change the partcipants attidute,on the very first day and later in three and five days session we remind them agaian again.it help us a lot.pleased to join the group doing similar work.Any further clerence are welcome.

Comment by GOPI KANTA GHOSH on June 5, 2011 at 10:27am
Thanks...the note helps me to understand myself so well...love and peace
Comment by Hope Tichaenzana Chichaya on June 5, 2011 at 7:28am

I concur with Elizabeth. Thanks for further comments Guy. I want suggest more tools which may help besides allowing people to tell their stories. Give space the positive role of religion (building peace). An example is the judeo-christian teaching of forgiveness. Teach people about forgiveness and reconciliation. Tahir also put it right that forgiveness is difficult. But it is possible yet it is a process. Finally, Celestin Musekura (Founder and President of African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries www.alarm-inc.org ) strongly argues and teaches for community forgiveness. He led that in Rwanda after the Genocide and it is beautiful to hear stories of forgiving people. I am saying, let us teach people forgiveness and reconciliation and create space for its practice even at community level. It is possible! We can do it! I am seeing it from a practical side!

Comment by tahir wadood malik on June 5, 2011 at 4:56am

in my personal experience as a survivor of an act of terror, feeling positive in a negative situation is the most difficult thing to so. it takes time, and lot of self control and effort.

sometimes the "viable alternatives to anger and retaliation" maybe be what is turning one away from resolution. so what happens?

i for one made the difficult decision of forgiving the perpetrator, but not forgetting the event. this became my strength, and i realized 'peace is an option' not an outcome.

for an outcome one needs two way agreement, in a conflict, the option is presented to you, and the soulution may not be acceptance outcome from of the option!

Comment by Potre Dirampatan Diampuan on June 5, 2011 at 4:45am
I like your suggestions, Guy. I have been quite long in dialogues and peace building workshops. In fact I intend to implement a program to be labelled People-to-People Peace Process (PPPP or 4Ps). In my experience, I saw how people in both conflict and post-conflict situations were able to freely talk about their experiences provided we create an atmosphere of listening and empathizing with them. Sharing is really great!
Comment by Guy Farmer on June 5, 2011 at 1:29am

Great point Elizabeth.  I think that would be a fascinating and educational discussion.  I've found it helpful to help people talk about their experiences.  Listening to people's stories can be a powerful tool one-on-one or in groups.  Once we set up an atmosphere where people feel safe to share their experiences they open up and begin talking.  The key is to eliminate any judgment, rebuttals or minimizing of any type when people are talking about things that are deeply meaningful to them.  The healing process begins when people are able to tell their story and be heard.  It's an especially powerful dynamic in groups because people build empathy and begin to make connections with others that might not otherwise happen.

Comment by Elizabeth Gerhold Fautsch on June 4, 2011 at 11:06pm
I'd be interested in a discussion of specific techniques that are effective in helping people in post conflict situations to enter into a more peaceful inner state.

Sponsored Link

Please Pay What You Can to Support PCDN

Please consider Paying What You Can to help PCDN grow. We encourage you to consider any amount from $1 and up. Read the SUPPORT page prior to making a payment to see PCDN's impact and how your payment will help.

Sponsored Link

Translate This Page


PCDN Guidelines and Share Pages

By using this site you're agreeing to the terms of use as outlined in the community guidelines (in particular PCDN is an open network indexed by Google and users should review the privacy options). Please note individual requests for funding or jobs are NOT permitted on the network.

Click BELOW to share site resources Bookmark and Share
or Share on LINKEDIN




Latest Activity

© 2016   Created by Craig Zelizer.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service