Down to the Nitty Gritty

via Kristen on Pinterest
Considering conflict today. How it starts. What it's about. If it speaks of some deeper issue than the one in question... 

I read once that we try to avoid conflict because we see it as negative, but really it's the only way for anything to change. If everyone agreed on everything, nothing would ever be different. So just because conflict may arise from unhappiness or dissatisfaction, that doesn't make conflict itself inherently negative.

As a person who seriously values people getting along and being happy with another and moving forward in tandem, this is a tough concept for me to grasp. However, it's occurred to me that perhaps it's not the conflict that makes me cringe but, rather, what happens next. A conflict arises, a difference of opinion is expressed, someone is hurt or upset or confused or angry. Okay. Now what?

Part of me thinks it could be as simple as offering alternatives to the thing that drove you bonkers in the first place. Thoughts?

Example: You go to lunch with coworkers every day at the exact same place. You like the place okay but you really wish you didn't have to go to lunch there every single day. Ugh. So frustrating, right? No one else seems to mind it but maybe you'd like to try tacos or Italian every once in a while. That's not completely unreasonable, right? 

At boiling point, Sarah would say: 
UGH! Why do we have to go to this same freaking place every single day?! It's annoying! Does it never occur to you people that some of us might like to try a different place???? 
Reasonable Sarah might say: 
I've had everything on the menu here. Twice. What do you say we try Amagio's deli tomorrow instead? I'd be up for switching it up sometimes. 
Could it really be that easy? Making sure to always offer a preferred alternative? I suppose there's a chance the dissenting party may not go along with your suggestion, and at that point you may have to make a judgment call about how much time/energy/effort you want to spend on this person. [not implying that someone disagreeing with you is a deal breaker, just that how willing/unwilling they are to consider your happiness in a given situation is an interesting thought]

Besides, having a clearer idea of what would make you happier in the situation gives you better idea of how to handle it, don't you think? It's a switch from "fighting with" to "fighting for."

So, new life tactic. Experiment time. Any time I feel annoyed or misunderstood or uncomfortable or just down right angry, I will be sure to include my preferred alternative to what the other person is providing/offering/saying. I know I would appreciate it when people I care about let me know how I can better show them that I care about them and value their opinion and respect their wishes and want them to be comfortable and happy.

I'll report back.

Carry on, piquettes.

Sarah :: Your Plucky Picaroon

[[any and all thoughts on this subject are welcome and appreciated]]

Sarah :: Plucky in Love

Sarah, aka "Plucky", blogs on the reg, unless she's on vacation or there's a Pretty Little Liars marathon or she's mulling over the implications of the phrase "on fleek." She can't live without iced coffee, a portable phone charger, or equal pay. Say hello!

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