30 Conflict Resolution Activities for Adults

30 Conflict Resolution Activities for Adults


Conflict is an inevitable part of relationships. While some conflict can lead to growth, too much conflict or poorly managed disagreements can damage relationships. As adults, it’s important that we develop healthy conflict resolution skills.

Benefits of Conflict Resolution

There are many benefits to developing strong conflict resolution skills as an adult:

  • Builds trust and understanding in relationships
  • Allows you to address issues before they spiral out of control
  • Leads to solutions that work for all parties involved
  • Reduces anxiety created by unresolved issues
  • Creates a safe space to share perspectives and feel heard

30 Conflict Resolution Activities

Here are 30 activities that can help adults develop better conflict resolution skills:

1. Identify Triggers

Have each person write down situations that typically trigger conflict for them. Compare lists and discuss patterns.

2. Conflict Style Assessment

Take a conflict style quiz to reveal how you typically respond to conflict. Discuss the pros and cons of each style.

3. Active Listening

Practice reflecting back what you hear during a discussion. Take turns talking and paraphrasing.

4. Define the Problem

When a conflict arises, write out what you feel the core issue is from your perspective before discussing.

5. Find Common Ground

Make a list of things you agree on. Identify shared goals and use them to guide solutions.

6. Take a Break

Walk away from heated discussions. Come back once emotions have settled down.

7. Stick to “I” Statements

Avoid accusatory “you” statements. Practice using “I” statements instead.

8. Validate Emotions

Acknowledge the feelings behind perspectives. Identify emotions and needs before problem solving.

9. Active Listening Challenge

Each person summarizes their conflict partner’s viewpoint to their satisfaction before responding.

10. Understand Perceptions

Answer questions about why you perceive the situation the way you do. Look for influences.

11. Take Responsibility

Practice owning your part in the conflict without blaming. Be accountable and forgive yourself.

12. Brainstorm Solutions

List out all possible solutions before evaluating them. Think creatively.

13. Find Third Alternatives

Look for mutually beneficial solutions where both parties’ needs are met.

14. Conflict Resolution Role Play

Act out a typical conflict scenario. Practice using healthy conflict resolution skills.

15. Write a Contract

Outline agreements and expectations for handling future conflicts in your relationship.

16. Relationship Inventory

Make lists of existing strengths and growth areas in your relationship.

17. Appreciation Exercise

Tell your conflict partner about their positive qualities and what you appreciate about them.

18. Manage Stress First

Address external stressors, meet basic needs, and practice self-care before discussing issues.

19. Model Scenarios

Use examples of public conflict scenarios and discuss healthier ways to handle them.

20. Conflict Resolution Education

Read a book, article, or take a class on conflict management skills.

21. Agree to Disagree

Determine if some conflicts come down to incompatible differences to be accepted.

22. Take a Time Out

When emotions are running high, leave the room and visualize resolving the conflict peacefully.

23. Negotiate Needs

Discuss interests behind positions. Look for mutually satisfying ways to meet core needs.

24. Analyze Communication Habits

Pay attention to how you communicate about conflict. Note patterns to change.

25. Meditate on Peace

Practice loving-kindness meditation to cultivate goodwill during conflict.

26. Discuss a Peacemaker You Admire

Share what you admire about those who promote harmony and reflect on applying it.

27. Make Amends

Apologize for your part in escalating things. Forgive each other.

28. Hug It Out

Science says hugs can ease negative emotions from conflict. Offer a hug when tensions subside.

29. Collaborative Art Project

Work together on an art piece using shared ideas and problem solve creatively.

30. Celebrate Resolution

Commemorate breakthroughs by doing something fun together when you find harmony.

Tips for Managing Conflict

Keep these tips in mind to handle daily conflicts in healthy, constructive ways:

  • Listen fully without interruption
  • Ask clarifying questions if needed
  • Own your part in the situation
  • Use “I feel…” statements
  • Validate emotions
  • Look for win-win solutions


What are the benefits of conflict resolution?

Conflict resolution leads to greater understanding between people, builds trust, addresses issues before they escalate, reduces anxiety, and creates solutions that work for everyone involved.

What are conflict resolution strategies?

Key conflict resolution strategies include active listening, owning your part in the conflict, validating emotions, finding common ground, avoiding accusatory language, taking breaks when needed, and looking for mutually beneficial solutions.

How do you teach conflict resolution skills?

Teach conflict resolution skills by modeling appropriate communication strategies, called out unhealthy conflict habits, role playing more effective ways to handle conflicts, reading books and taking classes, and practicing skills like active listening, validating emotions, and finding third alternatives.

What are some conflict resolution activities?

Some effective conflict resolution activities include identifying triggers, learning about conflict styles, defining the core issue, finding common ground, using “I feel…” statements, stress management, analyzing communication habits, apologizing and forgiving, collaborative art projects, and celebrating resolutions.

What should you not do during conflict resolution?

Things to avoid during conflict resolution include interrupting, blaming and shaming, yelling or name calling, dredging up past issues, sarcasm, ignoring problems, storming off, threats, violence, refusing to talk, and insisting you are right while refusing to listen to the other perspective.