Conflict My Friend

Conflict My Friend?

Conflict and I were sworn enemies.
A people pleaser – a soother of wounds
I was known to bring calm to troubled waters
And not rock the boat.
Hurt and insults were buried deep.
What good came out of tackling people?
Wouldn’t they think I was a trouble maker?
I put my relationships before myself.
Sometimes I would share my hurt with a chosen few
In the hope that they would act on my behalf
When they took up my fights for me
I cheered quietly from the sidelines.
But I realized that this was not how mature people act.
I would face up to conflict, I would fight for my rights.
Unfortunately I began to become too forceful.
My new found aggressiveness made me uncomfortable.
This was not me.
I worked on myself and tried to balance my rights with my relationships.
I found the assertive way.
The assertive way?
I will tell you what I feel about how you treat me.
I will listen to your side of the story.
I will act in a way that I can keep my dignity and my relationships.
I will seek to leave you with your dignity intact too.
I will not involve others in my conflict with you.
That’s not fair. That’s not just.
If you choose not to resolve the conflict
Or pretend nothing happened
Then I’ll opt out of the relationship.
Conflict and I are now friends.


I believe in getting into hot water. I think it keeps you clean ~ G K Chesterton

Are you comfortable with conflict?


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37 thoughts on “Conflict My Friend

  1. It’s not that I look for it… nor seek it but I don’t try to avoid it neither…

    I think when listening is possible, then it could actually be dealt with, but if not… then it’s better to leave it to cool down for awhile…

  2. Only last evening …I was telling my son on how I always used to make my decisions based on whether it pleased other people …in the process I became irritable , frustrated and morose and then came the aggressive state, “Take it or leave it ” and finally like you said the assertive state . My decisions make me happy now 🙂

    1. Thank you for your comment, Uma and my apologies for the late reply. I’m curious about your comment on learning to handle conflict on your own. Does that mean you sometimes take the help of others?

    1. Thanks for your comment, Hajra. Sorry it took me so long to respond. You’re absolutely right, we sometimes need to seek out conflict in order to get things right in our lives.

  3. You have echoed my thoughts. I hate conflicts so much that I avoid social interaction with people who I feel will create some kind of conflict. But we cant please all and misunderstandings do happen when we interact with people. A lot depends on how the other person reacts.
    I prefer to forget and move on but conflicts with loved ones leave scars.

    1. Thank you for sharing how you handle conflict, Alka. My apologies for taking so long to respond.
      I know exactly what you mean about avoiding people who create conflict – some people seem to revel in it to no meaningful end.

  4. Corinne, I went from being a people pleaser way over to the other side where I got snappy at the drop of a hat. I became so defensive…of course this was just another symptom of the fear I carried within me of being misunderstood or rejected. I have since matured, and although I still feel uncomfortable with conflict, I can hold my own without flying off the handle (most of the time) and allow the other person to speak. I have learned that letting other people get to me is just another way of me giving away my power. Life is a messy thing but it’s nice to know that I am in wonderful company. I want to move toward love in all my communications. Some day;) Sending love sweet lady.

    1. Thank you for sharing, Leah. I too went from people-pleasing to being an absolutely aggressive person. I guess it’s all a matter of trying out what fits us best. But our motivation must always be love. ♥

  5. I don’t like conflict and I would try to resolve it and would give it many tries. But once I deem enough-is-enough. I would walk away and would never look back.

  6. I think most of us go through this transformation. We learn from our mistakes and grow. Age really wisens you up, doesnt it? I am still confrontational (depends on who I am in conflict with of course) but I find that I exercise patience more these days than I used to.

    1. Sukanya, age truly is makes us wise – or at least it does to those of us who are willing to get the message. I’m learning patience too – although there was a phase not to long ago when I thought I had lost it completely! 😉

  7. Loved the lines, Corinne. I could relate to some of the lines myself. If it is not the type of person you are, then just let it go. Be what you are. Some conflicts need to be fought, some need to kept quiet, some need to be ignored. Which ever way you take, keeping one’s dignity is a must.

  8. I don’t like conflict Corinne but I won’t back down from it. I’ve a lover not a fighter but some people are just itching for a fight.. I wish they’d find more love in their lives. They sure would be a heck of a lot happier wouldn’t they!

    Wonderful piece and thanks for sharing this one with us.


    1. Thank you for sharing, Adrienne. I’m not itching for a fight either, but I do believe in sorting things out. Conflict for conflict’s sake sure is a waste of energy!

  9. I never liked conflicts and if I could, would always want to clear the air. But I can’t choose for people. Some, I have found, would rather stew in their anger and cut all ties. While it is hard, I’ve also learned that relationships can only work when both parties are willing to work on it. You’re so right Corinne, I’m like you. I’ll just go my merry way. Life’s too short!

  10. You have expressed the nature of unhealthy/healthy conflict beautifully here, Corinne! Learning to respect another’s, and our own, dignity when we have a disagreement is certainly a sign of positive growth. I wish everyone would get to that point in their lives . . .

  11. Burying your head in sand never made any problem vanish – avoiding conflict only makes you a perpetual victim. That is a lesson every innately polite person needs to learn and finds the most difficulty in learning. Also, avoiding conflicts tends to build up stress in you and you may end up erupting at a time when your reaction will seem excessively disproportionate to the cause and may end up losing you more friends than you could lose by taking conflicts head-on!

    1. I loved your comment, Suresh. It’s absolutely spot on. Those of us how are innately polite do try to avoid conflicts – and then when it all gets too much we erupt. We then get categorized as ‘passive aggressive’ people. Thankfully, conflict handling is a skill that can be learned.

  12. Very interesting Corinne. I think we need to choose our battles otherwise It just drains out all the good energy too.

    1. Oh yes, Jas. Not everything is worth expending energy on. There are some people who you know will never get you any way – so it’s best to walk away with your dignity intact!

  13. A very good post, Corinne! It strikes a chord with me. I have realized that sometimes conflicts are aggravated because we keep on reacting. Letting go may also work. Not every fight is meant for fighting over. Valuable lessons here for all of us.

  14. Very interesting post Corinne !
    I would prefer not to tell what I felt from within, thinking that it would hurt the person, and I was afraid of losing the relationship – but then it was making me more and more uncomfortable from inside to bear with it. It takes courage to let people know directly from you, as to what you feel inside, its not been easy and the same time I do not want people to take me for granted. I realize the need to express myself and voice my feelings, I began in a small by not allowing people to decide for me.

    This made a LOT of difference to my life, I started making choices that would help me be ME, preferred places Where I can just be MYSELF, I do not know whether I can say that I have become assertive now.. .. I still value relationships but not at the cost of losing my identity as a person. May be I can say that for the first time in my life I have started living for myself….. thanks for triggering this response and sorry for taking so much space … .. corinne

    1. I’m glad this post made sense to you, Janet. I think the more we learn to tell what we feel in an authentic manner and respecting the other person too, the more we will feel better about ourselves. We have a right to be ourselves and no one can come in the way of that! You’re welcome to take more space too! 😉

  15. My recent job has taught me this Corinne.. I wasn’t the one who would voice out her opinions only for the fear of being labelled as something. But in the last 1.5 year I under went a lot of things and it made me realise its high time I took some action. So my last year’s mantra was to weed out negative people from my life which I was able to do successfully and this year’s mantra is to not put up with people’s nonsense just because I have to. So far my success ratio is 80-20 . Lets see how it goes till the year end!

    Some thought provoking post to read early in the morning 🙂

    1. Ah! That just goes to prove right what I said in my comment to Colleen. Assertiveness can be learned. I’m glad that you are working on getting more assertive and taking care of yourself, Privy Trifles.

  16. What an interesting and hopeful transition! My personality type is certainly not one that likes or seeks out conflict, I tend to avoid it at all costs but see the value in learning to be more assertive. Thank you for sharing this, it’s a place I’d like to get to.

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