Conflict in life is inevitable. Whether it’s inner-conflict or relational, conflict builds characters and shows that you are human. Conflict often has a bad rap for being negative and something we often avoid, however, it’s actually natural and healthy. How we handle conflict is where things can get messy. What’s most important is that it’s addressed so we can move forward as individuals and allow our relationships to grow.
What gets swept under the rug now will get tripped on later.
Whether you are dealing with inner conflict or conflict in your relationships, it must be addressed at the right time. Your inner conflict maybe some type of fear, trauma, guilt, or shame you hold within (you versus you). Or you may have stored up relational conflict with a family member, friend, or intimate partner (you versus others). The other types deal with you versus your environment or you versus some the supernatural. Whichever type you are dealing with, it must be managed.
When conflict goes avoided for too long, it begins to accumulate in the space of your mind, your relationships, your workplace, etc. Imagine your mind as a home and all of your avoided conflict being shoved in a spare closet. You might think that since it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind, however over time as you shove in more and more junk, that closet is going to overflow in the form of bitterness, resentment, anger, depression, anxiety, etc., and these emotions will affect your relationships.
This is why it’s so important to address the parts of your life that don’t always feel good. “You must feel it to heal it.”
Here are some helpful tips when managing conflict:
~Make sure you are not angry, hungry, or tired when going into conflict-resolution~
~Make sure both parties are open~
~Seek first to understand, then be understood~
~Take responsibility + be accountable~
~Seek win-win solutions only~
If you are dealing with inner-conflict, the same tools apply. Be compassionate with yourself, journal it out, take time to meditate, be open to whatever comes up, and take responsibility for your emotions.