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Why Do We Hate the Idea of Conflict?

I'm gonna go out on a limb, and say that you are a person who will do anything to avoid conflict. It's actually not that big a stretch to make such an assumption. In the almost 20 years I've had my coaching practice… I don't think I've run across one human being who's been excited about the idea of addressing a difficult topic/situation/conversation with either a friend, family member or colleague. Overtime, I started seeing a theme develop. I noticed that most if not all of us just assume that, addressing something uncomfortable, is going to automatically turn into a "conflict". This assumption alone keeps people from addressing the problem or the particular complaint they have…sometimes for years and years…and sometimes it just never gets addressed at all.

This prognostication…this assumption of conflict is coming from that sometimes ever elusive, and sometimes right up your grill voice..the voice of what we call the saboteur.

It is imperative, especially when coaching, to test out the validity of that voice.

In this case, going ahead and showing up for what you have decided, is going to be a conflict.

But the difference is, you're also going in with the willingness for it to be held and received differently. Yes, sometimes things will de-escalate into a conflict. Such is life. (And that's a whole other coaching topic. Knowing that we will not do things perfectly, or impeccably, and that sometimes people will just plain not like us or something will be left unresolved.)

The point is to be willing to rule in or out the possibility of having difficult conversations and interactions, without the automatic assumption of conflict keeping you from actually improving your life and/or relationships.

Another theme began to develop. Once a client was willing to test this theory, and have the difficult communication, they were shocked and amazed at how much easier it actually was! A huge weight was lifted, and they felt a great sense of relief. They also of course, wished they had tested the theory long ago! One client recently said "it's amazing what honesty can do". I couldn't agree more! This is your invitation not to just collapse into these assumptions, especially around difficult topics, and or conversations that you might be putting off. It absolutely 100% does not have to be a conflict. It can simply be a not so comfortable conversation.

But there's also some good news there. The more often you are willing to push through the uncomfortable stuff…the better you'll get at it! So go ahead and give it a try! I'm pretty sure most of us can come up with a person, place or thing that we've been putting off dealing with simply because we had already decided (with the help of our saboteurs) that it was just gonna be a shit show. (That's the technical term for conflict by the way :-)

Good luck and let me know how it goes!


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