Do you know someone who is super afraid of conflict?
Do you know someone in fact, who’s so afraid of conflict that they’ll just not make any decisions or voice any opinions? Because there is always a risk that someone will not agree with their decision or opinion, and then there will be conflict. And so they just avoid that altogether. There are people like that, and it’s utterly unaccommodating behavior that people have developed.
I think in part this is because we have come to believe, or have been taught that, conflict is a bad thing. Whereas I think conflict is just growing pains. At least when conflict is resolved, so that the people involved can learn, grow, and move on.
I think for so many, and I don’t really know where this idea comes from, the absence of conflict means that there is love. But that’s simply not true. The absence of conflict doesn’t equate the presence of love. Nor does the presence of love equate the absence of conflict. I have arguments or at the very least heated debates with people I love dearly with some regularity. Especially with people I love dearly, in fact. Because they’re worth the emotional investment in growth, development and conflict resolution. People I don’t care for are much easier walk away from, whatever lunatic opinion they are trying to defend (lunacy from my perspective, that is).
So, I think looking at conflict as something that is always bad and always to be avoided, is not at all helpful. Conflict avoidance stunts our growth and learning, and stops us from developing deep and meaningful connections with the people dearest to us.
I’d love to hear what you think.