In order to have healthy relationships, one must embrace conflict.
Convergence, by Jackson Pollock, 1952
Conflicts come from disagreement, an inevitable part of relevant relationships. They should, though, be limited to disagreements that matter, that affect the people involved and/or the relationship itself. Conflicting over unimportant subjects only drains energy and connection. It pulls people apart. Conflict shall be the way to address sensitive subjects that are important to the point of arguing.
Conflict is obviously wrapped in feelings. Feelings are the thermometer to get to the conclusion of what matters. One won’t argue about something that brings no feelings, so feelings can (and must) be present when conflicting. They must be expressed in the most clear, complete and honest possible way, so understanding is built – and with it, connection. Sharing how you feel, what caused the feeling and every detail about it is the best gift you can give yourself and the loved one you are conflicting to. It is rich information that will build up over time and make you know each other more – an effective alternative to the guessing we are obligated to deal with on our everyday relationships.
There is one feeling to light up when conflicting – love. With love, a fundamental aspect of healthy conflicting is met: total honesty combined with care not to offend. At the beginning of a conflict, always remember you are going to argue because the presence of love, and not the lack of it.
Also, there is one feeling to avoid when aiming to conflict wisely: anger. Anger blinds us so we can’t stick to conflict – we are automatically driven to fighting. When fighting, you are trying to prove your point. You become a terrible listener and you are usually prone to offending. You are attached to your view of the situation, to your opinion – such attachment blocks any possibility of influencing and being influenced, an openness necessary in all conversations which goal is common agreement where all the parties yield a bit.
Disagreement is an essential part of life and relationships. Reflecting on better ways to disagree is not only fundamental for deep and honest relationships, but an act of love (for oneself and for others).
How do you deal with conflicts in relationships? Please comment!
Please remember that English is not my first language, so I apologize for any mistakes or weird word arrangements. Help me improve by sending an email to contacthoneytea at gmail dot com or commenting if you find anything wrong or bad-sounding!