So often, we gauge how our relationships are going based on how much or how little conflict is present.
We fear conflict and avoid it at all costs, thinking that it will lead to less connection rather than more.
Today, I want to invite you into a different relationship with conflict.
You see, conflict is sacred. It’s an opportunity to experience more intimacy with another rather than less.
Below, I’ve outlined 5 steps to help you embrace conflict.
Step 1: Is It Worth It?
Before you engage in sacred conflict, it’s a good idea to ask yourself if the relationship is worth investing in. You might consider…
- Does this person have the best intentions for me?
- Do I feel safe to reveal myself to this person?
- Do I see myself in relationship with this person long-term?
Needless to say, some discernment is necessary before you proceed to step 2.
Step 2: Notice
If you’re open to engaging in sacred conflict with this person, pay attention to the signals that conflict is present. Physical, mental, or emotional cues may be present, such as:
- Shallow breathing
- Constriction in the body
- Nervousness or anxiety
- Racing thoughts
- Desire to fight, flight, or freeze
Step 3: Embody the Belief
While you may feel nervous, anxious, or afraid in this moment, now is the time to consciously remember the deeper truth about this relationship. Say to yourself, “Regardless of what my fear is saying about the other person, I choose to believe that we are both doing the best that we can.”
Feel this belief in your body. Notice the sense of safety that this love-based “story” creates.
Step 4: No Assumption
Now, devote yourself to understanding the other person’s experience. Acknowledge your judgments about them and do not believe those judgments! Listen to them with an open heart, committing to truly knowing their world without changing or fixing them.
If possible, invite them to practice the same curiosity about you.
Step 5: Resolution
Be present to what has been made possible as a result of doing this process. You will likely find that there is even more intimacy now that you know more about one another’s inner worlds without defensiveness or aggression.
I’m a healer, teacher, and licensed therapist sharing tools to help you relieve stress and restore well-being.