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Jonathon

Raising Girls - Are you afraid of conflict?

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Are you afraid of conflict?

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Why conflict isn't something you should avoid.

avatar_45915.png BIOLA UNIVERSITY  3 DECEMBER 2019
 
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Conflict is often seen as a virus that sucks the life out of you and the ones you love. We all have stories of conflict causing pain and separation—parents who don’t talk to each other, families who no longer get together, work environments that are almost intolerable, and close friends who have drifted apart.

Most of us have only experienced conflict as negative, and thus do everything possible to avoid it.  It gets such a bad rap that we want to minimize or ignore it, and will pay good money to learn ways to make it go away. 

 

But it does not have to be this way, and in fact avoiding conflict is one of the most successful ways of ruining a relationship.  Are there are ways to flip the script on conflict? Since it is a reality we all live with, what can we do to strengthen a relationship while still dealing with the problems?

 

First things first

 

We begin by accepting the fact that conflict is as natural as it is inevitable. It plays a vital role in all relationships by providing an opportunity to address problem areas. In other words, conflict tells you, “Hey! This needs your attention!” 

 

Understanding the purpose

 

Second, your conflict can help you work on your social intelligence, e.g., understanding how other people work from the inside. It involves our ability to know others, and ourselves, in relationship—and acting wisely in these relationships. One of the key ingredients is being able to listen well. For example, do you know what motivates your roommate or how their different background or perspectives came to be? Can you put yourself in their shoes, or at least be able to really listen and hear their concerns? It doesn’t mean you have to always agree, but that you listen to understand. It is a great skill to develop, and one that will be used in all of your relationships.

 

In Psalm 139:23-24 the psalmist says “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.”

 

Why am I anxious?

 

Third, ask yourself, “What are some of my heart issues that are underlying my anxiety over the conflict? Why might this conflict be causing me such angst and stress?” Figure out what hurtful emotions are being brought out in you, and what is it that most worries you. Perhaps the conflict is making you feel misunderstood, or not heard, or not cared for. These deeper heart issues are often the source of our anxiousness, and often hide under the surface—hence the psalmist asking for God to search him.

 

It takes courage and commitment to flip the script on conflict. But, by using it to dig deeper to get to know yourself and someone else better, you just may find that you not only manage the conflict, but actually grow closer in the process. And that is always healthy.

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I'm afraid of family conflict like when dad #1 told me he was about to change his life and mine. I wanted to scream at him. I wanted to confront him with my real feelings but I couldn't. He seemed so happy about his new job and I didn't want to make it all about me but keeping it all inside makes it worse. 

I also don't like the conflict that comes with having faith. The comments about living in a dreamworld. The comments that God doesn't exist. I feel that conflict in different places and I only smile and move on. 

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♥ Project Positivity 

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I am afraid of conflict because I don't like other people agressiveness . And I am totally unable of dealing with it properly. I become easily agressive and I don't recognize myself when in a conflict. I also know that I can become disrespectful and be in trouble because of that. But truly when it happens I feel like I am not in control of myself... Hard to deal with that.

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I think a lot depends upon how you define conflict.  Without conflict we would never make any advances at all.  It's the conflict that occurs when we don't like our life situation that stimulates us to take action to affect change.

 

In this context, conflict is a positive.

 

Even conflict with other people can be a positive.  If their actions (or lack thereof) are causing some form of hardship to us then addressing the issue will result in positive outcomes.

 

It's the fear of hurting someone else, or being perceived as an aggressor that has some people saying they are 'afraid' of conflict or that they dislike conflict.  It's a faulty perception.

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I am afraid of conflict because I don't like other people agressiveness . And I am totally unable of dealing with it properly. I become easily agressive and I don't recognize myself when in a conflict. I also know that I can become disrespectful and be in trouble because of that. But truly when it happens I feel like I am not in control of myself... Hard to deal with that.

 

There were plenty of times when I wasin a situation that put me in conflict with other people.  The two options that were obvious were to butt heads with the other person, or simply turn around and walk away.  I knew butting heads would get me in trouble, both at school and especially with my dad that evening, so I usually tried to walk away and tell myself it wasnt worth the bother, dont get involved, not my problem, etc.  But most of the time that just wasnt gonna happen.  Like if a bunch of students were picking on someone and they needed help, or somebody was getting blamed for something and I knew they didnt do it.  I would consider my options for, maybe 1/10 second, and walking away totally wasnt on the list.  If conflict was the only option remaining, then yeah there was gonna be conflict.  I could never walk away from an unfair situation and say Its not my problem.  I dont work like that, and I would be ashamed of anybody who did.  Did I get in trouble for it?  Yep.  Get detention?  Yep.  Get spanked after dinner?  Yep.  Did it change my response when that situation happened again?  Not a chance.

 

I dont say that conflict is always bad.  I learned a lot about myself from being in conflict, and being in situations where I had to make difficult choices immediately.  I dont think anyone should go out of their way to find conflict, you dont need to do that, it will find you!

 

The worst thing would be to go through a conflict scenario, and come out the other side without learning anything from it..

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"All I see are junkyard punks, assorted cyber trash, and a bunch of drunken Motorball burnouts too slow to play the game."

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