Managing Conflict

There are many conflicts that we partake in or endure every day. Conflict can even be seen as a way in which we grow, learn and calibrate ourselves in our world. The inevitable result of conflict is a personal understanding in some form or another. This learning experience may not always be fun or graceful, but we learn something none the less.

I have observed two main sources of conflict in my life.

The first is a conflict between base animal instinct and expected civilized behaviour. We are programmed as animals with animal instincts yet in most cases we need to deny these instincts for the greater good of a society. This is perfectly acceptable in most instances, and our training and education in our formative years is designed to help us understand our animal instinct and why we need to replace it with a more social mode of behaviour. We teach our children to share with others and to not be wasteful of resources because in the long run, the learned collective behaviour will ensure our survival as a species. The collective takes precedent over the individual for continued survival. If we encounter a person with a different world view who is behaving in a way that we find unacceptable, we experience a conflict which we then act upon to try to either understand or bring our world back into balance form our world view.

The second type of conflict occurs when we either stand to gain or lose something that we like or want. We defend a behaviour or idea that we feel is important, and we willingly go into conflict to defend our position if and when it is challenged.

An easy way around conflict is to understand that in most instances, we as humans have more in common with each other that we have not in-common. As best you can, listen and observe where practical to what is creating the conflict and see what you can learn from it. Then decide on a course of action that will resolve the conflict and allow you to move forward with wisdom. Absorb the impact of conflict, understand it as best you can and then respond in an appropriate way.

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Filed under Stress Management and Life Coaching

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