Bravery is the choice to show up and listen to another person, be it aloved one or perceiv3ed foe, even when it is uncomfortable, painful, or the last thing you want to do.” – Alaric Hutchinson
Why do we have conflict? Why can’t people just get along? Essentially, we show up in our experiences with clinging to our stories, so, whether it is on a global, national or personal scale, we are determined to protect something. This something can be money, resources, people, pride, honour, etc. What we are trying to protect are, in fact, illusions. We should be more concerned with protecting out connection to others. Those too are impermanent, but they provide for a richer and more pleasant experience.
How we show up in any conflict situation is very much dependent on our programming and conditioning, i.e. our experiences. These will determine the mix of your assertiveness and prioritising the relationship. If we are purely assertive with no regard for the relationship we are perceived as agressive and, on the flipside, if we aren’t assertive, but only want to protect the relationship, we are seen as a pushover. I think you will agree that neither of these conflict personality types will lead to any sort of success in the long term.
Defensiveness comes out of only being interested in our protecting our own illusion and stories. We tend to be triggered when we are up against a perceived threat. If we can develop self awarenss and being fully observant and conscious of ourselves when we are triggered, then we can also work on those triggers and solve our core wounds. We are only triggered when we have a programme to activate that resonates with the external experience. So, logically, if we clear all the trigger points, we have nothing to be in conflict about, right? Yes, unless you take on new programming to run triggers against, that is correct. However, we don’t need to clear all the trigger points before we can show up consciously in conflict, we just have to be aware of ourselves and observe our experience.
If we can observe the trigger, we can do something about it and we can choose to not act from the perspective of the emotion, and we can choose the thoughts that we have relating to the conflict, i.e. we don’t need to think “I better go on the offensive here, we are under attack!”, we can think “Why am I reacting this way to this person expressing their opnion. I know it has nothing to with me, it is all to do with the other person’s conditioning.”. It’s not about defusing the situation, it is about defusing yourself. The tools I use in every experienct are:
Using these tools you can take the next step of seeking to connect with others and seek solutions to the problems and conflicts. With the right mindset there are solutions to all the problems in the world. If we drop our need to cling to our stories and show up as role models and the best versions of ourselves, there isn’t anything we couldn’t overcome. Just don’t make the mistake of expecting others to take the first step, or to ever find it within them to show up in this way, as long as you do it, that is good enough. We don’t need to pick up the challenges put down by others, that is our choice.