Relationships require us to go there….with Heart!

I think this is worth another post. I used the word communication in my previous post, but this is really about conflict. Conflict intrigues me, I will admit. It hasn’t always because I grew up avoiding conflict at all cost. I guess around forty I started learning more about myself and at the very same time I was being guided down a career of group process theories. Theories of organizational change and its dynamics, the people side of the organizations, a people process. Isn’t that amazing how that happens? Life is a laboratory. Please stay with me here.
Conflict intrigues me, conflict is so critical in how we communicate in our relationships. But no one I know was taught as kids how to do that. If you did, please let me know. Most were taught, me included by example. We experienced (watched or were involved in) two conflict styles generally, someone was allowed to explode through anger, often rage OR we experienced (watched or were involved in) avoidance becoming quiet and almost invisible to stay away from the angry person. I took the avoidance road.
At forty, I was an expert at avoiding conflict and then I started down this path and quite honestly began looking at my heart and my feelings. I started learning about me, my relationships, why I did what I did and learning some new behaviors in how I relate to others. I will leave it at that for now. Let’s see if anyone is reading this.
Learning about me was the hardest work I have ever done. I will never get it all right, but relationships are important and conflict is always there. I continue to learn how to go into “someone else’s lane” as it has potential benefits on my relationships, but it takes practice from my heart.

3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Paula Walborsky said,

    I’m reading this Susanne and thinking of how I loathe conflict and yet for more than 30 years was a litigator, in-your-face confrontational. Exhausting in every possible way. At home, growing up, conflict was a kind of a game, a logic lesson, debate. And if you were “pinned” verbally, it was not fun.

    I do not think we are taught how to maintain relationships, how to have fair conflicts, how to fight fairly and so there can be a worthwhile result. Paula

  2. 3

    Isabel Rush said,

    I too am an avoider but in my marriage, my husband will ask if I stayed up all night trying to think of how to annoy him by (and mentioning something I did). When I say hours and hours, we can laugh but each knows the other’s point and tries to avoid it in the future.

    I also pick my times for confrontation when an angry issue may not be as volatile and we can say and listen more easily. Thanks

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