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Dealing with Controlling People - Lesson 05

by Dr. Ray Self


Effective Communication

Click Play in the video player window and follow along on the class notes below.

Effective Communication

"Never answer an angry word with an angry word. It's the second one that makes the quarrel" – unknown.

The extent to which you can listen to, understand, and express yourself to be understood, and actively resolve conflict, will determine the level of relationship you can experience with any individual.

Psalms - 19:14 - Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.

Ecclesiastes 10:12-13 – The words of a wise man's mouth win him favor, but the lips of a fool consume him.

Matthew 12:36-37 – I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.

Effective communication always begins with proper listening habits.

Focus on…

  • What is being said
  • Clarification of valid points
  • Understanding

Do not focus on…
  • How you feel about what is said
  • Defense of inaccurate accusations
  • Judgment

Ask clarifying questions:
  • "Are you telling me that______________?"
  • "What did you mean when you said __________?"

Ask a summary question:

"Of all that you just said, what do you most want me to understand?"

Resolving Conflict

Ephesians 4:26 – Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.

Four Common Ways People React to Conflict:

Fight to Win

This is the "I win, you lose" or "I'm right, you're wrong" position. This person seeks to dominate the other person; personal relationships take second place to the need to triumph.


This person seeks to avoid discomfort at all costs, saying "I'm uncomfortable, so I'll get out." This person sees no hope of resolving the conflict or lacks the strength to confront it. Many times, this person copes by using the dreaded "silent treatment."


This person assumes it is far better to go along with the other person's demands than risk a confrontation. "Rather than start another argument, whatever you wish is fine." To this person, the need to feel safe is more important than resolving the problem.

Lovingly Resolve This person wants to commit to resolving the conflict by taking steps to carefully and sensitively discuss the issue. Resolving a conflict requires a special attitude - one of humility, of placing the relationship at a higher priority than the conflict itself. This person values relationship more than winning or losing, escaping or feeling comfortable.

Study Questions:

  1. Why are our words important to God?
  2. Discuss effective ways to have good listening skills.
  3. Interpret and explain Ephesians 4:26.
  4. What does it mean to “lovingly resolve” a conflict?

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