Why do we need conflict?

Why do we need conflict?  I hate it. I avoid it. I want everyone to be happy. It makes me anxious. I lose sleep when I know I have to face it.

For 51 years I avoided conflict.  I would agree just to keep the peace.  What I thought really was not that big of a deal, right?  Until I exploded!  It wasn’t pretty and I can’t believe that I was that angry.  People that knew me were in shock.  I was shocked as well.

ConflictThat was my wake up call.  I knew I had to stand up for myself for what I wanted or thought was important.  The happiness of others was not my job. But ultimately, by avoiding conflict, my relationships were superficial.

Then, for work, I read the book, “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team,” by Patrick Lencioni.  It helped me see that conflict needs to happen and that when it is honest and respectful, the outcome can create a more harmonious relationship.  And while this was set in the work environment, it works perfectly well in my personal life as well.

When faced with conflict, I tell myself that the outcome will be good.  Be honest! Be respectful! Listen to other person! Keep an open mind!  I have tried it twice with good results.  This gives me the courage to do it again.  I still get anxious about the process but with the good outcomes, I know that I can push through!

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