LifeMatters: Conflict in the Community & Providing Support in Times of Need

Conflict in the Community

Emotions may run high during times of conflict within a community. It may be frightening to see protests on the news or even in your own neighborhood. Violent events or tension between community members and the police may make you feel unsafe or angry.

Regardless of your personal views, it’s important to be respectful toward others. These guidelines may be helpful:

  • Don’t rush to judgment. Try to see the situation from multiple points of view.
  • Avoid thinking in an “us” vs. “them” way that makes it harder for people to find common ground.
  • Be sensitive to the religious, cultural, and social backgrounds of your neighbors and co-workers. Recognize that your own biases and stereotypes may influence how you interact with others.
  • Respond to others in your community based on how they behave, not who they are.
  • Think about what you say. Avoid using offensive slang or slurs or language that is derogatory toward others.
  • Be a role model. Set an example for your children, family, and friends. Treat others as you would wish to be treated.
  • Talk to people in your community. Ask them how they are feeling about what’s been going on and listen to their concerns. Ask what changes they think are necessary to resolve the conflict.
  • Understand that resolving community conflict will not happen overnight. Building trust between differing groups or points of view will take time and ongoing effort.

For more suggestions on how to cope with conflict in your community, contact LifeMatters. Practical resources and emotional support are available 24/7/365.

Call LifeMatters® toll-free anytime. 1-800-634-6433
Assistance with Life, Work, Family, and Wellbeing • 24/7/365 • Text “Hello” to 61295
Call collect to 262-574-2509 if outside of North America
TDD and language translation services are available

Providing Support in Times of Need

News of a violent incident may increase stress and make people feel unsafe. As a manager, you may wonder how to provide support to your staff. It is important to acknowledge your team’s emotional reactions to the situation. These may vary from person to person, and could include:

  • Shock or numbness
  • Withdrawal from others
  • Sadness and crying
  • Anger
  • Confusion
  • Helplessness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Agitation or irritability
  • Talking more with others

Remember that most emotional responses are normal and that it is likely they will change over time. Individuals may cycle through a variety of emotions in the hours, days, and weeks, that follow an incident. Some people may be “back to normal” in a few hours; for others, it may take days or even longer, especially if they have been personally impacted by violence.

While there is no way to make it “all better,” being sensitive to your team’s feelings and showing that you care will help them move through shock, loss, pain, and fear. These steps may be helpful:

  • Reach out. Ask people how they are doing and “manage by walking around.” Listen and validate feelings. People will wonder, “Does the company care?” Your availability and concern will provide the answer.
  • Remind staff that LifeMatters is available. Your team and their families have access to LifeMatters 24/7/365.
  • Take time for yourself. Remember to set aside personal time to cope with your own feelings. Practicing good self-care will set a positive example for your team.
  • Use available resources. LifeMatters consultation and coaching is available to assist you with any concerns you may have about an individual team member or your work group as a whole. The healing process takes time, and LifeMatters is committed to helping you restore and maintain the health and wellbeing of your staff.

For more suggestions on how to assist your work group with feelings related to a violent incident, call the LifeMatters Management Consultation Service. Help is available 24/7/365.

Call LifeMatters® toll-free anytime. 1-800-634-6433
Assistance with Life, Work, Family, and Wellbeing • 24/7/365 • Text “Hello” to 61295
Call collect to 262-574-2509 if outside of North America
​TDD and language translation services are available