Friday, October 8, 2010

Conflict Resolution

I'm always in a rush to resolve conflict, because I think it's more mature to negotiate peace between people than leave an open, festering sore in the middle of a relationship, and then try to pretend it's not there. But other people don't often share my commitment to this, and I am slowly realizing that coming on too strong might be as immature as ignoring the problem.

There is a middle ground, and that is waiting until the fracture is not quite so fresh, and you have a little perspective on it before sitting down to talk about it. I'm learning, very slowly, not to panic when there is a problem and the other person wants to pretend the problem isn't there. I'm trying to gear down in my own spirit, waiting until the timing seems better to work out a resolution.

Sometimes a resolution can't be found, and peace is not able to be brokered. I have to understand and accept this as well. I am only responsible for my own feelings and reactions, not for the other person's. This is hard for me to accept, as it seems built into my personality to empathize with others and try to make things better for them. I can't always do that, especially when the conflict is with the other person. I have to learn to remove my hands, heal my own damaged heart, and allow the other person the space to work through their side of the issue.

I'm glad that I can see this process a little bit clearer now. Waiting doesn't necessarily mean ignoring - it can be an intentional part of the journey. One day I may feel better able to talk it through, but I have to accept my limitations where they exist. When we are overloaded with too much stress, it's not a great idea to take on more, and often time is the only thing that can heal some of these deep hurts.

Patience is not a strong suit of mine. I want to tick items off my list and move on to the next thing, but there is a quiet strength that has the chance to grow in the chaos and conflict of relationships, if we will sit back and wait for it to take root. The process itself is thorny and difficult and painful, but my faith is growing that the possible resolution will be better and sweeter for this forced time of waiting.


  1. Oh my, are we on the same page today! You worded it so well! I struggle with waiting for a resolution and more times than not I have moved ahead trying to make it right with somebody and then making it worse. Thank you for sharing this!

  2. No problem, Susan. I'm glad to hear it helped you today. It's amazing when our eyes are opened, little by little, to some of these things, and they have the power to change our lives in huge ways if we can learn to do things differently. Hugs to you.