Have you met people who get really excited when it is time to deal with conflict and need to go and confront the person(s) involved?
Me neither; maybe they exist, but they’re hard to come by if they do.
Some folks, commonly known as ‘Counter-Attackers’, seem to have a knack for bringing up and immediately dealing with the things that hurt their feelings, put them down, or just rubbed them the wrong way.
To be totally transparent, I can sometimes envy them; their courage, their ability to fire back and speak up for themselves.
Rather than ‘Counter Attacking’, my default, after some sort of an altercation, can be avoidance; wishing and sometimes pretending that ‘it’ didn’t happen.
When engaged in avoidance, conflict is:
Your life with all conflicts resolved
At times, It can feel like we’d rather do anything than confront our issues and work them through completely.
Would you say you’re more on the counter-attacker (let’s deal with it now) or avoidance (let’s deal with it later, WAY later) side of the spectrum?
If you had to list out one or two of the greatest conflicts in your life right now, what would they be?
What would your life be like with those completely resolved and dealt with?
What would be possible for you if you learned to deal with conflict better and not be so intimidated by it?
Conflict versus Tension
My friend Titus Kahoutek, wrote the following:
Conflict, in my mind, historically, meant something was broken in a relationship.
Conflict was bad, and best avoided.
The truth I am discovering is that the dance of conflict, IS the art of relationship.
In conflict we have the opportunity to build trust, intimacy, and shared understanding.
In conflict we stand face to face and wrangle around an issue.
At its best, conflict, done well, is a piece of beauty and moves our relationships forward.
In the absence of conflict, tension grows. This seems to be where the problem begins.
Tension is generated in a relationship when we pull away from a point of conflict.
Ignoring, or avoiding conflict inevitably amplifies tension until there is a breakdown.
Addressing the conflict will mobilize stagnation, discharge the tension and inevitably lead to a breakthrough.
I really appreciated his article. It captures the idea of conflict being ‘built into’ all of our relationships verses this ugly three-eyed monster that comes out of nowhere that causes us to flee and hide.
Conflict is good – it is the catalyst that will take the relationship to its new next level.
What would be a powerful, loving conflict for you to engage in that would mobilize stagnant energies, build closeness and unity, and move you closer to your desired destination?
How do you cultivate your conflicts?
The good news for conflict avoiders is that conflict doesn’t have to be all about you and it doesn’t need to be internalized!
It is a beautiful and inevitable part of every relationship that you are in, and it helps the relationship to grow and bear fruit.
Make sure you stay tuned for part 2 of the ‘Good News for Conflict Avoiders’ blog series.
If you don’t want to wait and would like to have a conversation about this, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.