Just about every good thing in life has come to us because we were not satisfied with something else. Dissatisfied with debt, we created a budget, dissatisfied with loneliness we joined a community.
If we want to make a better life (and life is designed in such a way that we can MAKE it better) the key is to respond appropriately to conflict. Here are some suggestions for responding well to conflict:
1. Don’t play the victim and act like conflict wasn’t supposed to happen to you. Conflict is part of life, designed by God and it’s not going away.
2. Don’t give in to wishful thinking. There’s no use wishing the problem away. This is a waste of time. Instead:
3. Take action. What can YOU do to make the situation better? Do you need to make amends with somebody? Do you need to remove yourself from a situation? Do you need to finish a project? Whatever it is, make it happen. Take action.
4. Don’t be afraid to cause more conflict. Perhaps you need to end a working relationship or even let somebody down. Perhaps you need to finally tell the truth. Perhaps you need to pay for your mistakes. Whatever it is, be willing to create some conflict to finally move forward. You will have to do this eventually, anyway, it’s just that the conflict is going to be worse. Jump now.
5. Make a list of the ways the conflict is making your life better. Are you learning something because of the conflict. Learn it now and learn it well so you don’t have to repeat the third grade on this one. Is the conflict making you stronger, more empathetic, more self aware? Make a list of all the ways the conflict is improving your life and have a positive attitude about it.
There are many reasons conflict is good. In life and in art, you can’t tell a good story without conflict. Lets learn to love it.