Conflict & learning

Unfortunately, conflict is inevitable and although it’s part of everyday life, there is sometimes no getting away from it.

That said we can use experiences involving conflict to embrace a new understanding. Conflict is usually a way of telling us that something isn’t right. That perhaps we’ve said or done something that reflects an uncertain outcome. It’s not something we should leave, but something to be dealt with and a new way of responding to a person or situation.

Conflict is an opportunity for learning, an opportunity for us to question the way we do things. We can all go on to create better lives for ourselves through our experiences with conflict. Although most of us learn through conflict, we don’t always learn enough to move away from it and therefore will invite more conflict into our lives.

By understanding that the way we’re doing things isn’t working properly, should allow us to start thinking differently. We should stop wanting to retaliate, because that is what conflict really means. I believe we can all learn to consider our actions more purposefully and create more conciliatory choices. There is always more than one response open to us.

To create a sense of control and balance, we must always choose a better way to think. And we must also stop being a victim.  We must lose the fear, frustration, isolation and helplessness we constantly associate with being a victim. We’re as much a victim as we choose to be.

We can choose to walk away from a life that involves conflict. It’s about changing our perceptions. Perhaps we should choose not to see people as perpetrators, because that really doesn’t help and instead begin to use mediation as a tool to communicate, to get our point across.

We tend to use conflict destructively, which means no one wins. It’s not a competition and yet we behave as if we are in competition, always having to have the last word. Besides, conflict has nothing to do with argument, what we said, what the other person said.

Conflict is something that’s inside of us, usually brought about from childhood experiences, not yet dealt with. Conflict is the scapegoat of all our problems.


15 Jul, 2016

6 thoughts on “Conflict & learning

  1. My experience with conflict was that of being forced to listen to two parents who argued constantly, so it seemed to be never ending.

    This created an environment of resentment and hostility that we were forced to endure. I’m sure this is why I try to avoid it at all costs; by either becoming invisible or running away from it, which was the only two choices we had back then. The problem with that is that there are times when you do have to fight for your own rights, if somebody is infringing upon them.

    My parents usually chose to run away from their problems, which is what I have been doing myself for the longest time. It still angers me knowing how things could have been, if I had just stood my ground and fought for what I wanted.

    This is actually the discussion I had with my therapist the other day, as to figuring out what it is that I really want. It isn’t about always doing what’s right for everyone, else to make their lives easier.

    The most I learned from my childhood was about learned helplessness, which was kind of insane, being forced to depend on parents who could barely take care of themselves, let alone four children.

    It was more like we were taking care of them quite often, which wasn’t fair on so many levels. My Mother demanded complete loyalty to her and did a fantastic job of breaking down my barriers, with her passive-aggressive brainwashing techniques. My Dad was pretty oblivious to what was really going on and only seemed concerned about getting his booze at the end of the day.

    It isn’t like I don’t know how to fight, but it just isn’t something I really enjoy doing. I watch my girlfriend arguing with her siblings constantly over the stupidest things and winder why she keeps doing it. I can think of a lot better ways to entertain myself!

    I know there are people who actually do like to fight all the time. I just find it way too exhausting to do so and try to avoid it as much as I can. I have learned how to pick my battles and know when to walk away!

    I’m sure a lot of people would consider my so called life very boring; but compared to the alternative, I’ll take it.

    1. Thanks Randy. There’s boring doing nothing Randy and there’s your kind of boring, which is to find and have peace in your life and there’s nothing wrong with that. If anything it’s to be embraced.

      No one should have to go through what you went through as a child. I can resonate with certain aspects of your experiences Randy. It’s always important for any child to have a sense of purpose, brought about by parents who love and care not only for each other, but for their children too.

      To grow up with conflict is enormously difficult, but believe we can come through and learn how to change and deal with conflict, to move it away and become stronger. The stronger we become, the less likely we are to put up with it.

      It’s not right for any child to have to go through what you went through Randy and there is no excuse, You have already surmised for yourself, that you’re happy to turn your back on conflict, that it’s not the way you want to live, but others don’t see that and will continue to repeat those patterns, until they too decide to change them. Unfortunately some never do.

      As children we’re not emotionally equipped to make such grown up connections on how we can change or walk away from conflict, but as adults we can work on learning how to walk away from conflict, so that we bring more peace into our lives.

  2. Exposure to some limited conflict can be a good thing if the experience is a positive one and it teaches us how to address and resolve our differences. It’s a whole different story when all we experience is negative, aggressive conflict and especially as a child.

    I listened to the nonsense going on in my house growing up, with 3 generations arguing with each other. That just made me determined to get away from that as a soon as I could and distance me emotionally from my family. They still bicker and argue, but thankfully I am a witness to it from a distance.

    1. I agree with you, but I’m not sure I’d be happy to witness any bickering even if it is from a distance.

      Whether conflict is witnessed from a distance or not, it’s still too much. I have seen conflict myself I know how it works.

  3. When you’re dealing with self-absorbed people conflict ensues easily, but my spirit will often challenge people who peddle conflict.

    Your last paragraph says it all; conflict is deeply rooted in our childhood experiences, it eventually comes to surface.

    1. Thanks Tim. Yes, we tend to know the people who peddle conflict. They will spend a lifetime doing it and usually to the same people, so you would be right to challenge that type of conflict if is coming from the same person. It’s abuse.

      Although I have learned over the years it’s important to choose our battles; I do believe it’s important to speak out where we feel we must. We also learn through some of those battles what to hold on to and what to let go of.

      We eventually become adept at working these things out and with whom; but rest assured our childhood problems are no excuse for the abuse we inflict on others.

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