Conflict resolution

Rocky IV 1985 rŽal. : Sylvester Stallone Dolph Lundgren Collection Christophel

Conflict is NOT my middle name. I’m hopeless at it and prefer to avoid it at all costs.

Are you like that? Or do you enjoy a good stoush?

I’m worried my conflict avoidance is becoming problematic. (And I’m soooooo hyper-sensitive sometimes … though it could be the Mirena talking, if Google mythology is to be believed.)

I’ve always been a little lairy of criticism and perceived slights, but I’m wondering if I’ve gone seriously out of whack.

The things that bring a tear to my eye … even I can see I’m being completely irrational and daft.

It’s like there are all these weird emotional triggers that have been left lying around inside me like rabbit traps, waiting to be set off.

I wonder if it’s something I need to discuss with a professional or whether they will naturally evaporate as the pain of my separation from (ex)Husband subsides?

I’ve been told that conflict is not optional in life. That the only way up and out is work through it.

And it’s true: not telling people when you are hurt or annoyed doesn’t make the situation better. It just makes it worse.

But the thought of engaging in conflict with someone … Well, it makes my chest tight.

Yes, yes, I know. Deciding what to order on a menu makes my chest tight. It’s a very quick detour.

I’m proud of my ability to keep my voice at a normal level, even when I’m in high-stress situations. It’s a rare person who makes me yell. Well, the kids manage it a few times a year, but that’s called motherhood.

My apparent calm made me an easy boss. But did it make me an easy wife? Probably not. In a professional setting I was cool as a cucumber – well, bidding situations in the six figures were a little panic-inducing – personally, however, I’m pretty sure I literally vibrate with unexpressed displeasure.

Surely voicing negative feelings is the healthier way to deal? It might even have saved my marriage.

The mere thought of telling people how I really feel terrifies me. Especially if it’s something negative: I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, I don’t want them to hurt mine.

But better out than in, right?

Song of the day: Crowded House “Mean to me”

9 thoughts on “Conflict resolution

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  1. This is going to be really weird advice…but do you have any girlfriends of Chinese background? If so, I suggest discussing this ‘negative emotion thing’ as the Chinese in general don’t believe in telling people slights against them and yet they remain calm and happy.

  2. I’m always late with these comments but you might find this interesting.

    Conflict is in the eye of the beholder. Generally they are just differences of opinion and approach etc.

    When I was younger, I thought all differences of opinion were to be treated as a ‘Conflict’ a battle of wills and authority. To either be confronted or avoided.

    After much soul searching, I came to reassess my approach. I now view all forms of differences as an opportunity to either share my perspective/opinion/approach or try to understand someone else’s perspective/opinion/approach.

    It requires a realistic appraisal of the situation. Am I overreacting or being reasonable? Are other factors colouring my opinion? Is the other person justified (at least in their mind)? Do they need to understand my opinion to move forward? What can I learn from them?

    As long as you accept the principal that your perspective/opinion/approach are of ‘equal’ value to the other persons. The answer to each question will give you the clue as to which way to handle the conflict. Either upfront or live and let live.

  3. I am late to read this blog post but have to chime in – I too, really struggle with this. Someone really crossed a boundary with me last week, took advantage of my niceness and I felt really put upon, but didn’t say anything, because she was struggling herself with some things. Sometimes I fantasise I will be able to live the rest of my life avoiding conflict and just accepting that about myself. But it’s almost like the universe, and everyone else, WANTS me to face things/endure conflict, for “personal growth” reasons! I HATE it. I resent conflict. Maybe I need to have it out with conflict itself.

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