I’ve never been one who likes conflict, I’m not sure that anyone really does. But it honestly sends me into fits of anxiety, stomach churning, sweaty palms, over thinking, anxiety. I’d shy away from saying what I thought, I’d let people steam roller me with their own thoughts and opinions, no matter how hurtful it was to me or others.
I’d rehash the event, the conversation and my feelings with Hubby, my sister and Mum. Sometimes I’d rehash it with friends, and with colleagues who are friends. But before I knew it, I was treading a fine line of rehashing something that had obviously impacted me or bitching about it.
I’m a grown woman, so why did I find it so difficult speaking up for myself? Maybe it was the fear of conflict, the fear of disappointment or even loosing a friend? Whatever it was, I decided a little while ago that my own values trumped those things. And so I created a rule for myself.
My rule is: if something upsets me and I debrief it with two people (it doesn’t matter who it is), then it has obviously upset me enough to approach the person about. It’s never too late
And what have I discovered by doing this?
- Well first of all, I am stronger than I thought and can actually speak about my feelings is a measured way.
- The conflict I always feared, normally doesn’t eventuate, or if it does, definitely not to the extent I would have conjured up in my imagination.
- Usually the other person has no idea that they actually upset me because it wasn’t their intention.
- It gives the other person a chance to explain their point of view, meaning that I can better understand what happened and why.
- I can use the conversation to grow and improve on myself. I am not perfect and sometimes the hard conversations allow for self-reflection.
- I have been able to weed out people who no longer value add to my life or have been dragging me down (a harsh way to put it maybe but it is most definitely the truth!).
I’d love to know, if you are someone who shies away from confronting people, how do you deal with conflict?