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What do you do when faced with conflict?

By July 17, 2008Blog

I encourage you to look into how you deal with conflict, I have found it to be a huge area of growth and strength for me whenever I face a difficult situation and decide to do it with honor and integrity…my integrity, not someone else’s version of it. I recently had a well known “Spiritual teacher” do, yet another, thing that smacks with personal inner weakness. Their decision to not be honest with people because they are “afraid to hurt anyone’s feelings”, and to not respond, communicate or resolve any issues that come up have given me pause to think about this. How can someone claim to teach and practice spiritual growth when they themselves are not even willing to deal honestly and directly with day to day issues and people, even people who love and respect them? I have seen mis-communication, misunderstandings  and hard feelings sprout up over and over around this person…unnecessarily , due to this person’s lack of inner integrity and willingness to stand up and deal honestly with people. It boggles my mind. I do not expect anyone to be perfect, I know I am always in process, changing and growing, and yet i am always interested in seeing where my fears arise and why, clearing what appears as issues and manifests things i do not want. To me that is a huge part of why we are here, to have these opportunities to see where we are within ourselves and to choose what we want to feel and experience. I feel it is this internal growth, this self realization that expands us, source, the universes and all there is. This is a way to sift and sort what we like, how we want to feel and how to change what we think, feel and how we react. This is manifesting and creating our lives on purpose and these are enormous opportunities to not only decide what we like and do not like, but also to ‘practice’ how to interact and communicate with people.

How do you perceive conflict? Some people seem to like it, attract it, relish in it, get power from it. Most people fear it, avoid it and some even run from it. What do you believe is the ‘right’ thing to do about conflict? Is there such a thing as a ‘right ‘ way to handle it?

Since I do not really think anyone truly wants or likes conflict (even those who seem to relish it I believe have some other reason for that, mainly that something in them, anger or fear or lack of self worth, takes on a magnetic filed that says “want to fight? Fine, let’s fight! Bring it on!”) I think it is an interesting topic. I think that the way we ultimately deal with conflict of any kind says a lot about who we are. This is not a moral judgment or a right or wrong thing. This is about us really getting to know and understand our true selves. If we truly stand in our won space and own who we are, love and cherish who we are, we know we have nothing to fear and therefore, conflict is very different than how most of society perceives it.

However, on our own personal journey’s we can see how we are affected by conflict and how we choose to handle it, feel about it and resolve it, and this is a huge indicator to ourselves of where we are within ourselves. Being in a space of inner peace is what we all want and is our natural state. So then, how do we choose that state, and not fall in to judgment of ourselves and others, fear of others opinions and letting our minds run wild with “what if” or “they shouldn’t” scenarios?

Well, I know from my life that I never liked conflict and used to be afraid of aggressive, direct people and people who I perceived as “bully’s”. Over the years I have intentionally strengthened myself, and my self worth to be less and less intimidated by this type of energy and I have stepped up and deal with conflicts as they appeared in my life. There were times I wanted to run, literally and emotionally, away, and not deal with it. It was internally very painful. However, I found that every time I dealt with it and went through it instead of avoiding it, I grew, and that strength was worth every bit of discomfort. Then I was stronger and more confident the next time, I know it was not such a big deal as I was making it, and I began to find ways to actually re-frame the situation.

Re-framing is an internal way to quickly shift your perception and interpretation of the situation. Since we create our won realities and therefore we choose our thoughts and feelings, we can, in an instant, shift how we feel and therefore the energy over the whole circumstance shifts. Since it is all energy, this is how to really make changes that yo can feel and see. You will see people react differently to you and you can see conflicts completely dissolve in front of you. You can feel calm and happy in the middle of a so called “bad” situation, and you can let go of your attachment to any outcome or desire for external circumstances to be different than what they are.

Does this mean you are saying it is “OK” for someone to act a certain way? No, letting it go, changing your attitude or releasing your resistance does not have anything to do with condoning any action or person. Remember, nothing anyone else does has anything to do with you in reality. Everyone is operating in their own world and can only come from their own perspective. You can;t change anyone or anything else, but you can change how you feel and act or react. This is true power. Power over your own thoughts and emotions…this creates worlds.

I recently have encountered some situations that gave me a chance to see how I deal with conflict (again…a life long process really!). Having come through so much emotional conflict in my divorce, several key people in my life who are the “bully” type (who i tried for so long to please…) and other things in life, I am in the best place I have ever been inside of me. I no longer fear or am intimidated by direct people, in fact I appreciate them. Not ‘bully’s’, not people who are aggressive and try to force their ego’s and agenda’s on you., but people who know who they are and are willing to be honest and direct in their communication. I am more like this as well and I find many people do not like it, but it solves many issues that arise form being vague, avoiding discussing important things and other things that tend to arise with people who are too afraid to communicate honestly.

There is something very damaging when people hide and avoid issues that make them uncomfortable. In this way you never can resolve anything, or know where you or they stand. How can you and have potential for good open communication, growth and opportunity to connect when someone is not honest with you?

Magical things can happen when you step into perceived ‘conflict’….you will find out more about who you are and you will increase your power and make friends with people you never imagined. Your world grows, expands and you feel like you can handle anything, fear fades…so much is available to us when we are willing to deal with conflict and not run from it. Step up and trust yourself, you are safe and magnificent and you add tjo the beauty of the world when you do! Thank you!


  • Hi Nan,

    Great article! I also have shied away from conflict for many years. Lately I am relishing in the tools I am learning that are empowering me to see the choices I have when with a difficult person. (That is besides leaving my copy of “How to Deal With Difficult People” on the table :-))

    A simple one that Sonia Choquette taught me is to just acknowledge, “There is a weird vibe between us right now, do you feel it?” I find that this depersonalizes the bad vibe and allows for a break in the encounter.

    I have had it work for the positive in both cases that I recently tried it. In one, the person and I decided to split company. We did it in peace and that was good. Some friends are indeed for a season! The other resulted in an excellent tapping session that cleared the air beautifully between us.

    Sometimes old defensive maneuvers sneak in…when least expected!

    I appreciate your bringing up this topic because conflict can be such a good barometer for personal growth!


  • Nan says:

    Thanks Catherine!
    I appreciate the tool, I will definitely put in in my ‘box’! I am also amazed at how things turn out, it is almost like you open a door you didn’t know was there, an option that didn’t exist before when you step in and are willing to look at it!
    The BEST!