At some point in my life, I thought about doing a master’s degree in peace and conflict studies. To help end wars, negotiate peace treaties and that sort of thing. I’d totally sent this fact into oblivion until it just came to me while brushing my teeth. I suddenly realised it’s not about conflicts between abstract entities like states and nations, but about people. About people’s inner conflicts. ’Cause the reason for outer conflict is 100% your inner conflict.
When you argue with someone, you do it because outer circumstances touch on a sensitive spot of yours. In most cases you can’t and probably won’t pin point it within yourself, but insist that it’s the other person’s fault. And because generally they are none the wiser, the same process happens within them, so inevitably both your inner conflicts become an outer conflict. Which makes both of you feel hurt — the deeper the hurt, the greater the anger. The greater the anger, the louder the tone.
Watching myself and others during conflicts, I see how at the root of every heated argument there is
The lack of understanding that nothing someone says/does can touch you if there is peace within yourself
The fact that nobody takes two seconds to put themselves in the other person’s shoes.
When your buttons are pressed, your reactions usually come instinctually. They’ve become reflexes. You don’t question, you just follow them. It feels good to give in, to let the venom out because you feel like you’re releasing it. It’s like taking a painkiller which reliefs the symptoms for a couple of hours, but doesn’t cure. Your inner conflict is still there and if you don’t address it, you’ll find yourself in the same arguments over and over again.
Ideally, every person would learn how to recognise this and seek help, but we don’t live in an ideal world, now, do we?
Some of us have better chances than others, though, better access to information, more tolerance for new ideas and approaches than others and it’s up to these people, aka YOU, to grasp the moment between action and reaction, to think before speaking and most importantly, to put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
I know it’s a bit of a drag to be the reasonable one all the time and nobody expects that of you. It’s rather about doing it most of the time. Thinking about the other person’s perspective, I mean. Even if they can’t see yours. Even if you just feel the impulse to smash their head against the wall (hmmm … at that point, you should definitely stop and think about it!).
By now you probably know that hurt people hurt people and you’ve most likely been hurt one way or another in your life. Once you start recognising the things that trigger you and addressing the conflicts taking place inside of you, your life will get a whole lot easier. The fact that it positively affects your environment is just a bonus!
So, let’s get cracking!
What conflictual situations do you keep getting yourself into?
I used to be a fixer, a control freak, a millennial woman with great ambitions and little self-esteem. Now I just am. And it’s marvellous! I teach Zumba, Pound and Yoga; I read, write, travel and do my best to enjoy life. Follow to hop in for the ride! Instagram: andra.cd View all posts by andra.cd
Originally published at http://mollyhund.home.blog on August 25, 2020.