Conflict Dynamics: It's within you
by Mark Goudie on Mar 14, 2023
The psychology community would tell you that conflict is normal and healthy in a person's life, but if conflict is left unresolved, it only creates more conflict.
When we think of conflict we immediately think of the dynamic in our relationships and how the other person has hurt us. It could have been our lover, boss, friend, family or stranger. But once we realise that the conflict is within us and not with the other, they are only a trigger to our own fears and insecurities, then we can start to resolve our afflictions.
If you have ever been to relationship counselling then you would understand that the focus is on the dynamic of the relationship, rather than the dynamic of the relationship of the individual. Our own afflictions are unresolved issues that we have accumulated over time, that we have never been shown how to resolve. This unresolved pain can wreak havoc on our relationships with others. This is why it's deemed normal to have conflict in relationships with others.
When you have no afflictions, then you have no conflict
Mary and John are in a loving relationship. One night they are out at a party and John starts talking to another attractive woman. Mary sees this and later creates an argument and says to John "do you find her attractive, you are flirting with this woman", Mary has said this because in a previous relationship she was cheated on and has brought this affliction into the new relationship. In turn John's response is of self defence because it has triggered a trust issue within himself and is now unable to listen to Mary's concern and conflict is created.
If we are only acutely aware and see tension on a superficial level, we can create conflict from the smallest disagreements, we may even look for things to argue about. The more aware we become, the more we realise that the problem is rarely the problem in front of us, usually there is a greater problem or we are holding on so tightly that our bodies are exhausted and we don't feel our best.
How to ride through tension and create less conflict
If you live your life with strong opinions and judgements then your thinking is fixed and you can expect a great deal of conflict. The reason is that when we fix an idea it cannot grow or change, so our perspective is clouded, therefore we are unable to truly listen to the other person and be sympathetic to their feelings. You may have heard this statement "You have the right to your own opinion". Our opinions are what contribute to conflict, they are a set of historical conditions based on beliefs that formulate an outcome. But because they are in the past they aren't necessarily relevant to the now.
So what if you knew how to resolve your afflictions? Then you would be free from the triggers of others in your relationships. When you are able to sit in curiosity and create space to be less judgemental, you are then able to listen and be more understanding. If you're not being triggered, others opinions or judgements have little affect on you. By resolving your afflictions you can start to differentiate your emotions from others, providing more space to better sit in tension and others conflict.