When I asked in my Facebook Group if people avoided conflict, I was surprised to find that people seemed to be proud of burying their heads in the sand.
That was probably a lack of empathy on my part, as I spent years and years in silence, not saying what I really thought and felt.
The consequences for my health, mental health and relationships were not pretty.
Conflict is simply opposing points of view that are emotionally charged. Most people avoid conflict by ignoring their feelings, which is a dangerous habit, as we are feeling beings.
Most people think that “being vulnerable” is being weak. In fact, “being vulnerable” – being OK to feel the full range of your feelings, is the fullest expression of your true nature.
“Trying to keep peace at all costs” is violent in itself, because you are normally not feeling peaceful when you do that.
The reason you do it is simple: You want an easy life.
If your idea of an easy life is watching your relationships stagnate and deteriorate (personal and professional), feeling stressed, and not unleashing your full potential – or not allowing your project or business to skyrocket to success, keep avoiding conflict.
If instead you prefer to keep learning, help the people you care about to learn too, and have effective communication with those you live and work with, then conflict is absolutely necessary.
That doesn’t mean shouting. It doesn’t mean saying every thought that comes into your head. It doesn’t mean picking a fight every time you feel low.
The other person is never directly responsible for how you are feeling. That is scientifically impossible. You feel whatever is inside of you moment to moment.
But for relationships of any type to work, being vulnerable and having emotional empathy with how the other person’s world feels, is really important.
When you are present, clear-headed and vulnerable you can tap into that emotional empathy and know what to say and when.
Sometimes expressing yourself will be in the midst of the emotion, though you’ll probably also see that “working this out” if you are emotionally charged, with a lot of thinking going on, is not the best idea.
Sincerely, there are no rules, as our human conceptual reality is created through imagination. The only way to find out is by daring to express yourself and learning from doing that.
Your best ally is remembering how we work as human beings. Beyond our separate realities there is a connection that joins us. If you truly value your connections, whether that be your family, children, partner, colleagues or clients, stop taking conflict off the menu.
Of course, it may not be easy at first, if you have been used to being known as the “nice”, “easygoing” one…
It’s a price worth paying. Life becomes simpler when people cannot walk all over you.
In my experience, regular short, sweet conflict is preferable to ongoing dishonesty, insincerity, and manipulation.
What do you think?