Written by: Kathy Best, CRRC, ACCR, PSDC, CNT, September 8, 2019
Initiating Conflict – This self-sabotaging behavior is another learned behavior that’s triggered by feelings of low self-esteem, feeling undeserving of goodness, happiness, or unconditional love, and fear of rejection. To overcome this limiting behavior, awareness of your triggers and conscious effort to become open and honest about your insecurities should be implemented. This requires a deep personal inventory of past experiences that taught you to use conflict as a protection mechanism. Review these experiences objectively, without shame or blame and work on understanding that the child in you no longer needs to use this form of protection. You are a very mature adult now and can handle rejection with understanding and grace knowing that you are perfectly loveable, deserving, and secure. You are capable of recovering from insult and injury without malice or resentment because there are millions of other potential partners, friends, and relationships waiting for you to shine your light their way.
Look at your current relationships and try to discover what is it that you fear may lead to disappointment? Retrospection can be a wonderful thing, but sadly cannot repair the damage inflicted by hurtful words or actions. The next time you feel the impulse to start an argument, examine your motives. Some things are truly best left unsaid. Acknowledge your own part in the conflicts in your life, make note of the past sensitivities you carry around and project onto current situations to your detriment. We often misinterpret other people’s intentions and motives or jump to erroneous conclusions based on our own self-conscious judgements and perceptions. When you make this a practice you become more self-aware and able to examine and control your negative responses. This also allows you to stay present in the moment instead of falling back into unconscious reactions – and gives you the opportunity to begin relating to others in healthier, more resilient ways. Asking yourself how you can choose to respond to situations that trigger your insecurities and pain points in proactive, thoughtful ways will go a long way in creating more fulfilling, harmonious relationships with others and with yourself.
Another key to correcting conflict is to cultivate clear, sincere expression of your needs and expectations while allowing others to also express their needs and expectations without fear of judgement or criticism. Overcoming your unconscious reactions and habits is a work in progress. These issues were not created overnight and they will require gentle but firm dedicated practice to be resolved. This is another area where the modified peace process discussed in the overindulging post can be of assistance.
As always many of these practices work better when you have someone to support, encourage, and hold you accountable with honest, understanding, non-judgmental communication in a safe, comfortable environment. This could be a trusted family member, dear friend, counselor, mentor, teacher, or coach. Make sure the other person wants to see you grow and flourish and that they are skilled at communicating from a heart-centered, authentic place.