Why Conflict Can Be a Good Thing for Your Growth

Conflicts are a part of life. If you’re not having conflicts with others, you’d be lucky to not have conflicts with yourself. Waking up in the morning is hard when your dreams aren’t panning out. Looking in the mirror is tough when you don’t like what you see, and dealing with the shortcomings of those you live with is a task of patience to say the least. Conflicts are the thorns on the edges of the life we live. We bounce up and between the walls of life thanks to the conflicts that are sprinkled throughout. Conflict either makes us change direction or warns us of what’s ahead. Either way, it serves an important function in shaping us as individuals.

This article hopes to encourage you to view conflict in a forgiving manner. Forgive yourself and others after a moment of conflict plays itself out. Strive to learn from what has transpired and direct the effects of a conflict you have in life to improve you going forward. One of the sadder sights in life is someone who consistently does not learn from the conflicts which populate the daily life they live. Though conflict is normal and expected, the repetition of conflict which is sparked from the same happenings should be learned from and avoided. This article hopes to adjust how you view the conflicts you have with yourself and others. In short, they are crucial ingredients to your growth as an individual.


The Strain on Your Self Perception


The act of others showing you how wrong you are about how you perceive yourself is a favor that they commit. If it’s true enough to hurt you, then it’s true enough. Conflicts with others depend on both parties acting out in instigative ways. When we find ourselves in a conflict with someone else, we are susceptible to making mistakes due to the elevated levels of emotion surrounding the situation at hand. You’re more likely to say something you normally wouldn’t, and do do something which may incriminate you down the line. The root of conflicts is the battle of two or more personal truths. How you perceive reality has been challenged by someone else’s perception of it when you find yourself in a conflict them. You two struggle with giving up ground, and attempt to force one’s reality onto the other.

Conflicts are breeding grounds for strains in your self perception. You’ll sometimes be right during a conflict with another individual, and you’ll sometimes be dead wrong. The times in which you’re wrong are painful. Apart from selecting how you should handle being wrong, you have a decision to make on how you should console yourself in times of conflict. Should you merely try to please onlookers with your admittal of error? Or should you come to honest terms with the fact that you weren’t as right as you thought you were?

A well timed conflict can send us into a spiral of questioning all of our actions and beliefs. Being conflicted, with either yourself or someone else, forces you to audit your behavior in hopes of coming to a conclusion that your line of thinking is correct. These moments of self audit birthed by conflict are something to welcome, rather than shy away from. It is difficult to audit our own behavior voluntarily when things are going well. The act of you taking a wrong turn in life should scare you, and self auditing is something that you should get into a habit of doing.

Self auditing and conflict are cyclical in their relationship with one another. When there is conflict, you’re likely to audit the behavior which led to that conflict. If you choose to audit your behavior without a conflict taking place beforehand, expect to be conflicted about some of the things you discover of yourself. Each iteration of the cycle however, is one which results in the improvement of your behavior and thinking.


Kintsugi: The Mending of Your Shattered Beliefs Make the New Ones Stronger


Conflicts with yourself and others will shatter some of your beliefs about yourself and the world around you. To explore a rather simple example, imagine yourself having an inflated sense of your toughness as an individual. Picture yourself getting into an incident of road rage and deciding to step out of your car to fight the other individual; who has also decided to partake in this primal and immature act. The conflict has shaped itself. The two personal truths in this conflict, are the notions of each person thinking that they are tougher than the other. If you go on to lose the fight and come out with a broken nose and two black eyes, that conflict will be a trigger for the auditing of how tough you really are.

As you recover at home with an ice pack on your face, you’ll be choked up with feelings of regret and embarrassment. The process of self auditing will be ramped up and in full force. You’ll have decisions to make on how to prevent conflicts such as that playing themselves out like this one did. Some will begin to take martial arts courses, and some will practice remaining zen in situations that entice people to act out in violence. Whichever path you choose in response to the conflict which has shattered your perception of yourself, you’ll come out of the experience an improved individual.

The example above is simple but effective in portraying the concept at hand. The times in which your beliefs and actions are proven wrong shouldn’t be avoided. Allow what you know of yourself and the world to be shattered, and strive to glue the million pieces back together. You’ll always learn new things in the shattering of your beliefs, and in the conflicts which you are a participant of. Do not strive to be an instigator, as that is not what this article is promoting. Forgive yourself for the conflicts in which you find yourself in, should they occur. Strive to learn from each one rather than adopting the mindset of revenge or desire to prove those around you wrong. They are good opportunities for growth.

Book Recommendation: 

Kintsugi Wellness: The Japanese Art of Nourishing Mind, Body, and Spirit

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