Throughout the month of April I am taking a break from writing in order to focus on other things. As a result I am re-posting some of my most popular articles.
In any sort of relationship you will face conflict.
- “Your comments made me feel inferior.”
- “Oops. I forgot to pick up the keys to the car.”
- “You were not listening to me; I did not feel like you were on my side.”
We are patently human. You will regularly experience conflict and tension. The importance of conflict is not in the nature of the conflict but in the nature of your response.
Our tendency as humans is to try to find the shortcut to resolution. My natural tendency is to placate, to try to make the other person feel better. What is usually necessary is some time, discomfort and wrestling before bringing the issue to a full resolution. I personally have to choose to enter that zone of discomfort for my benefit and the benefit of the relationship.
We all have choices every day.
- You can move towards someone or away from them.
- You can engage conflict or avoid it. (Warning: Avoided conflict will always find you somewhere else.)
- You can be stingy or generous.
To be human is to choose.
Here is the choice we each need to make:
- Will we be the people who stick with a relationship for the long haul, through miscommunication, pain, hurt feelings, and scarcity, as well as through abundance, laughter, and celebration?
- Or will we be the people who avoid conflict and pain and look for relational shortcuts?
Shortcuts do not give lasting rewards, but discipline and perseverance pay off long into the future.
What choice are you going to make today?