I hate conflict. I avoid it at all cost. I tend to think I am strong enough to carry the feelings of hurt, disappointment, and anger on my own, without letting it affect me or my relationships. But, it doesn’t work like that. Unresolved conflict changes everything. I don’t like who I become with it and I don’t like the distance it creates. So, if I hate what conflict does, why do I avoid resolving it?
Fear? Rejection? The truth? All the above?
I do fear. I fear that the outcome of starting these conversations will end with rejection. I fear the dynamics of the friendship changing for the worse. I fear hearing the truth—that I am being irrational and silly. I fear having to own up to mistakes that my pride is keeping me from admitting. I fear hearing that my feelings aren’t valid or are wrong. I fear that I care more about the relationship than the recipient or learning the opposite.
Conflict can be very good. I know this. It is where growth happens, where relationships can deepen and where people get real. It bothers me that my natural instinct is to avoid that . . . growth, deeper relationship and becoming real. It’s not easy walking against instinct and into conflict. But I know those are the steps I am being nudged to take. Instinctively I want to dig my heels in, cross my arms, puff up my chest and say, I got this. But the reality is, I don’t have it, it is affecting me—and not in a positive way.
So, now is the tough part . . . I’ve processed the emotions. I’ve analyzed the knowledge . . . now it is time to choose. I can choose to do nothing, to let the gap widen, to try and avoid the bitterness and the withdrawal and deal with it on my own—that would be the path of least resistance, the ”easy” path if you will. Or I can choose to set aside my pride, set aside my fear and open up. I can choose not to play it safe. Good or bad to throw it all on the table and be real, to be honest, and to give all I have. I desire the latter choice, I do . . .