Do You Remember Your First Childhood Fight?

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Do You Remember Your First Childhood Fight?

Maybe it was a disagreement, or you were accused of talking badly about someone. Regardless, you probably can remember it like it was yesterday. When we are young, most of us are not emotionally developed enough to take the high road. If you suffered a great deal of pain or hurt, you likely programmed your brain to avoid future conflict. This desire for conflict avoidance may also have arisen from watching others fight or being a part of your family’s battles. Regardless of when or why you started seeing all conflict as bad. You stopped using your voice so conflict couldn’t occur. You didn’t allow yourself to develop the necessary skills to get through conflict without becoming emotionally devastated.

Conflict arises when two people have differing opinions, or someone is disappointed, angry, or frustrated with someone else. Since we are unique, it is natural that we don’t always agree making conflict virtually impossible to avoid. So, is all conflict terrible? No – depending on your mindset it may be super-healthy for you.

When conflict is viewed in a positive light, i.e., what can I learn from this versus why can’t they be, do, or say what I want, then your discussions can be fun and educational. An open mind allows us to see things that we may not have considered before. How we handle another person’s anger, frustration, or disappointment can also get us through conflict in a healthy way. Having compassion when someone else is emotionally triggered will go a long way in this situation. Make sure you have done the work on your Trigger Management Strategy as well. You don’t want to be the reason that conflicts begin.

Continuing to avoid conflict, unless you are in physical danger, is not healthy for your soul. You must use your Big Voice to enable your purpose of helping to change the world for the better. I can assure you there will be opposition. You will feel small if you are passive long-term. You won’t experience as much joy if you don’t stand up for yourself. Adopt the belief that conflict is amazing when you are emotionally intelligent. You can even be in conflict with someone who is irrational or evil and still come out feeling fantastic. It just takes the right plan. Here are the steps to ensure conflict is a healthy part of your life:

  • Become more emotionally intelligent. Create a mindset where you won’t allow anyone to steal your joy. Goal is to respond and not react anytime you or anyone else is emotionally triggered.
  • Set intentions to use your Big Voice. Speak up immediately and share your truth in a positive way. Learn how to communicate and honor someone with a different opinion. Many of us have become passive because fear shuts us down. Wake up every day asking yourself how you can use your Big Voice more.
  • Take inventory of any unfinished business. If a conflict ended a friendship or you have been carrying around resentment within your relationships or life, you must face them. Keeping these stored up is not healthy. Seek to forgive those that hurt you or ask for forgiveness if you realize you handled something wrong. It is not required that you deal with someone directly, especially if they are toxic, but you can still forgive them indirectly.
  • See your little voice clearly when conflict shows up. It will make you defensive and avoid it at all costs. Push past it by acknowledging it and appreciating it trying to protect you. I will say “thank you for trying to stop me from feeling hurt, but I know conflict is healthy and I won’t allow anyone to steal my joy.” Your Big Voice can handle any conflict if you don’t own how other people feel. The truth is 95% of people aren’t as invested in growing personally, so remain detached from their response or reaction. You can’t expect others to handle conflict as well as you.

With these four tips, I urge you to stay strong and present anytime conflict arises.  Speak your truth and be on guard against your little voice. It has and will cause you more pain, guilt or resentment than facing conflict head on!

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