The basics of learning in life are given to us in that school called “relationships.”
We all need relationships to survive at birth and later to develop and thrive. Human relationships serve the purpose of mutual support and reciprocal confirmation of our worth as human beings.
Is in this give and take of acceptance and confirmation, that we get to build a strong sense of self. Confirmation messages tell the little person growing up the assurance that he or she is accepted, loved and thus, integrated into and belonging to some collective: “our family,” “our marriage.” Children yearn to hear: “You are one of us, because you look like your father, or mother, of granny Beth...” And grown ups cherish someone telling them: “I love you; you are important to me.”
The problem is, few people know this truth....They think that relationships are built to be happy, not to learn...so when things go sour, the get distraught and upset. The saddest cases are of those couples living in emotionally empty marriages, with emotional abuse or passive aggression as their lot. Don't they have a right to be happy? Yes, but it will not happen by wishing to be happy, but by going through the conflict situation and learning the lessons...
How many times do you see people refusing to accept confrontation and conflict as a part of relationships? They hide the differences, and refuse to engage in a clean confrontation as many times as they can...and so perpetuate conflict, make eternal enemies and reap unhappiness.
So, what is this new “conflict frame” I want to offer to you here?
People start conflict, not because they initially want to destroy the connection with their significant Other, but because they need some missing confirmation from their significant Other.
We are always moved by our needs, and the search for satisfaction of those needs….In the case of the need for love and connection, (supposed to be satisfied by the marriage contract itself), either this confirmation of the other person’s love and undying interest on us is spontaneously provided, and we thrive, or it has to be pulled out of the Other, by means of some confrontation.
But we can’t avoid searching for elements of love that can feed our need!
Conflict is the activity that allows us to define our needs.
By confronting each other, we get to know what we want, what is that we reject, and basically to know who we are. Reciprocal confrontation helps us to know how others see us, and to compare that image with how we see ourselves, and manage the difference.
Fair or positive conflict is the activity that allows us to negotiate our inclusions without anger and doing so, reciprocally, we get to know who we are, how others see us, what is what they love and reject in us, how we are evolving as perceived by others, and basically, helps us know who we are becoming.
In short, this is what you need to know about the role of conflict in your life:
Conflict is inevitable, so accept it in your life. Don’t be surprised or scared by it, BUT LEARN HOW TO INCLUDE CONFLICT INTO THE SKILLS TO BE LEARNED:
- how to use the connection with another person to grow up
- how to tolerate , be patient, listen to the other side’s perspective
If you would like to know about a way to fight with love and respect, here is some useful step by step information.