We all know someone who would rather walk through fire than face a disagreement with someone. Heck, it might even be you! I know that I am a natural avoider and that when dealing with an aggressive, I can feel extremely uncomfortable and freeze up. If I worry that I might incur the wrath of another, I still sometimes and find myself agreeing instead of honestly saying no.
At first it feels so much easier! Ahh! – and then, I have to back track to regain my sense of authenticity. Oh bother!
Obviously, having the backbone to stand up to our beliefs right away might not always easy; but it’s always the right thing to do. (Unless they have a weapon.)
Here are 3 good reasons for the conflict:
#1 – If you are being Honest!
When the relationship is important to you, being honest is key for the relationship to grow and for your sense of self-esteem. If you find that you are avoiding being upfront about your true feelings, then it’s important to learn how to get your point across. (Even if you think you are too sweet to be THAT mean!)
By talking honestly, things don’t fester while agreements and sincere compromises become possible. Most importantly, the other person can trust that you will be honest with them so that the relationship is not based on a bed of lies.
Facing their anger with honest communication, without caving AND without taking their anger personally, nourishes a relationship. (There are peaceful and respectful ways to do this of course.)
# 2 – Values clarification!
Being clear on each other’s values is the foundation of respect. (I’m assuming respect is part of your family values?) Someone’s anger gives us the clues that we need, before people leave a relationship.
Remember that the most destructive communication style is indifference. Talking it out, validating each others feelings (yes, validate even the negative ones) and having clarity simplifies future times together and increases our sense of closeness and compatibility. Acknowledging feelings and taking the time to check into core values is a wonderful opportunity to deepen your relationship.
# 3 – Hey, you might be onto something!
If your loved-one is easily upset and critical, they might be insecure or anxious and need to be in control to reduce their fears. Their anger may be a sign that you are actually on the right track!
Are they highly successful at what YOU are trying to accomplish? No? Well guess what: People who are successful, don’t have time to criticize you or stop you! They are too busy making it happen! So if you can recognize their fears; don’t get caught in their insecurities or you will be living their unhappy life – not your happy one!
Obviously, when someone is angry at us, sometimes we need to own the part we played and apologize.
However, anger is often about them and not about you so if you are always feeling guilty, you could be beating yourself up unfairly! Take a deep breath, go for a walk and then decide which is more important in your heart. Ask yourself 3 questions:
- What do I authentically want, need and feel?
- Are both our core values being respected?
- Are they operating out of fear and/or a need to control because of their insecurities?
Answering these honestly will improve your confidence and lay a clearer path of action.
“Peace is not the absence of conflict; it is the ability to handle conflicts by peaceful means.” Ronald Reagan
As a former Family Life Educator and Crisis Interventionist, I started out my coaching years focusing on Family Life helping people find their voice to feel more heard and respected.