Growing Up Means Not Avoiding Conflict
As I got older and became an adult, I realized that conflict is the missing ingredient in a lot of relationships.
Think about any strong relationship you’ve had or any great team you’ve been a part of.
If I had to venture a guess, I would say that your relationships were strong not for a lack of conflict but because of that conflict.
Conflict isn’t fighting for the sake of fighting.
No, it’s showing your true colors and owning who you are. It’s being vulnerable so that others might do the same. It’s trusting that stepping out onto the ledge will lead to others joining you so that you can all admire the expanded view together.
Here’s what conflict does:
- It allows you to be real
- It gives you a chance to be rejected or accepted for who you are
- It shows a commitment to get to the heart of the issue
- It helps you reach a new normal within a relationship or a group
You might be wondering about all of this…This may not jive with your experience.
You might think:
How does conflict do this?
Wouldn’t it be better to avoid conflict?
Let’s think about this for a second. Let’s review the benefits of conflict.
When you break a bone, it often grows back and heals stronger than before.
When you have a fight AND communicate your way through it, you learn new things about the person with whom you’re fighting.
You learn that common ground is not a mirage in the distance but a prize to be attained in the here and now. Each battle you get through makes you stronger.
Now, I’m not telling you to go out and hurt people’s feelings for the fun of it. Far from it.
Because that’s not conflict. That’s abuse.
Conflict is a meeting of the minds and hearts.