No other issue is talked about more, yet dealt with less importantly in the area of Marriage and Family Counseling, than personal conflict and its subsequent association of personal conflict resolution.
Not one day goes by that someone doesn’t mention to me their personal conflicts they can’t seem to resolve.
Everyone, on occasion has personal conflict in their life; some however, seem to have more than others while many seem to live a life of constant conflict.
In fact some individual personalities actually breed on conflict of every kind; if not their own then someone else’s conflict.
The point is, “Personal Conflict” is a reality and the process of resolving the issues which bring about the conflict can be difficult.
Conflict is usually seen as “A collision or disagreement of opposing personalities”, but it can also involve “prolonged strife, incompatibility, interference (deliberate or unintentional) or an outside source of antagonism”.
Conflict is simply part of life.
Many learn to live with it and deal with it while others go their entire life without ever learning the basic principle of “Keeping your eye on the goal and never let the little things get you down”.
Even in the area of love and romance, some conflict prone personalities are never able to experience the wonder and magic of such because their decaying personality brought on by a life of conflict can’t distinguish between desire and conflict.
Because romance always has a tendency to involve a “collision of opposing personalities” or the proverbial “strange bed fellows”, persons who have lived a life of constant conflict and its close cousin of contempt simply can’t recognize love when its right in front of them.
A perfect example is the single man or woman who has basically labeled the other gender and always sees any approach from the “opposition” as negative; never giving the individual a chance to capture their heart while adding just another unresolved conflict to their life.
If they do attempt to resolve this love/hate conflict in their life, it is usually by running; either to something else to occupy their time or to withdraw to themselves continuing to live a life of perpetual conflict.
Conflict is not always about opposition to another person.
Conflict can come in opposition to work such as an idea, work rules, guidelines or a change in such.
Conflict can also be in opposition to events, places or even inanimate objects.
An example is the opposition by someone concerning a concert being performed at a specific time or place in their city or town or even the potential of missing such an event.
Often people become so attached to something like a boat, a car or jewelry and clothing that the slightest scratch, tear or imperfection sets off an internal conflict which might last, days weeks, months or in some cases even years.
The bottom line is that conflicts are everywhere and unfortunately they all too often become personal.
The most difficult conflict of all is internal conflict; the conflict involving spiritual and emotional opposition to self.
The conflict of dealing with issues of right and wrong and good and evil can eat away at a person’s body, mind and soul often leading to spiritual and emotional paralysis to the point the individual becomes basically useless; nothing more than a member of “the walking dead”.
When any type of conflict is allowed to become personal, it becomes extremely dangerous and can lead to anger and even rage and aggression.
In order to resolve a conflict you must separate and ultimately remove the person from the conflict; if not, the conflict will eventually destroy the person.
In other words, we must learn how to take ourselves out of the situation.
When we remove ourselves from the opposition equation, the conflict will eventually cease to exist.
Listed below is a five-fold approach to eliminating the personal aspect and resolving the conflict:
1. Identify the conflict – What is it, who is it, where is it and when did it begin.
2. Decide if the conflict (or point therein) is really important; can you live without it?
3. Weight the importance and significance of possible outcomes.
4. Make a final decision; all conflicts involve opposition leading to confusion. Any resolution must involve choice.
5. Emotionally, spiritually and if necessary physically walk away from the opposing choice you didn’t make.
Jesus said, “let your yes be yes and your no be no” and He also said “no man can serve two masters; either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other“.
In the sermon on the mount Jesus made mankind a promise stating that, “Happy are those who work for peace; God will call them his children”!
Make your decision to resolve your personal conflict(s) today; you will be happy, peaceful and your life will be better for it.
© 2014 Dr. Lee W. Outlaw III