How you make conflict worse

All too often, when we are in conflict, we do exactly the opposite to what is helpful. Driven by habits, ego, or simply bad training, we exacerbate the situation rather than finding a way to connect even deeper and transcend the present obstacle together.

The urge to defend or create a reality that seems harmonious can damage the potential for either.

When we try to defend our case, we are invalidating the experience that the “other” is having. By insisting that they hear our logical explanation, we have mowed over their gut experience, which often has little to do with logic.

When we try to prematurely force harmony, we create an atmosphere of constriction. In this environment, it is nearly impossible to forge harmony: in order for it to manifest, there must be breathing room.

When we can step back and take a breath, we create a space of allowing what is rather than seeking leverage to get one’s way.

In the breathing room, all sorts of miracles can happen, including bridge building like never before. We can turn enemies into allies. We can create stronger and deeper intimacy in our friendships, families, and romantic relationships.

We can surprise ourselves and others with graciousness and poise and fuel the fires of peace and understanding.
A small sacrifice of ego can yield rewards beyond measure.

Your Assignment: When you find yourself in conflict, can you take a breath and approach it from a place of wonder. You may say, “You might be right!” and offer a treaty in which everyone wins.

Comments

One Response to “How you make conflict worse”
  1. Margit Crane says:

    Sarah, I ADORE your post. I’m working with quite a few ODD kids now and it’s so important to meet them where they are and not be guided by “logic”. Some people have brains that don’t function logically. That sets everybody up for more conflict. Honoring the other person’s process, even (or especially) if they’re a kid, is so life-changing.

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