Some people think that I can be quite tough and hard sometimes. Yes, I can be very direct, but why am I like that? I think it is wrong to tell people just what they want to hear. I have worked within industry, with teenagers and young people. So, life has taken me into many situations that have given me the opportunity to communicate in a truthful way. To deny what is actually happening and avoid meeting the conflict in a realistic way has never really been an option.
One thing I have noticed is that conflict also occurs when people do not communicate honestly with one another. In order to avoid conflict they just tell one another what they want to hear, but not necessarily what they need to hear. Furthermore, one of the struggles for every human being is we do not want to meet the conflict within; tell ourselves the truth about who and what we really are.
Where am I going with this? I have always believed that we as individuals are our own worst enemies, which I often write and talk about. One thing I have learned is that sometimes it is very necessary to confront conflict in any manner, shape or form. Every time we avoid a conflict situation what could be a wonderful opportunity to face the situation to find solutions is then very often dismissed, because of our fear of conflict. When we go into denial this conflict is fed by more negative energy and becomes much bigger than it needs to be. If this negative power is allowed to build up and develop it very often has far-reaching consequences and involves many more people, and then can really get out of control.
I remember many years ago a psychologist said to me that one of my strong points was I had humility. I nearly fell off the chair laughing and I said to him:
– Do you know what you are talking about?
I did not see myself as a humble person. In being a good therapist he explained in a very easy way for me to understand:
– A conflict situation can be likened to that of a triangle: We go from conflict, one point of the triangle and then we go to the next point of the triangle where we go into arrogance, denial or whichever direction ego takes. This can be said for every human being. However, what I have observed with you during our therapy, when you are in arrogance you will confront it and go to the next point of the triangle and try to find a solution.
Awareness and acceptance
As he said that I was able to recognise something about myself that I had not realised before. To a point, what he was saying was true. From that day up until now, it is much easier for me to accept when I go into arrogance. That gives me the opportunity to be much more responsible for the situation I find myself in, and to take whatever necessary action there is to find a solution with the conflict and move on.
Every time I have had to face the conflict, and in so doing finding a solution, that has been far more rewarding as opposed to remaining in a stagnant way of thinking from which resolution cannot be achieved. I cannot say that I have perfected this. I can still have my blind moments, but if people criticise me it is much easier for me now to ask myself: Is there any truth to what they are saying. Sometimes there is and sometimes there is not.
When I have pointed out things to people who have been on my courses it has not always been received with an open mind. That in itself can create a conflict situation, but time being the essence of all things, there was a process and many have come back to me and said they realised what I meant. When I am working as a teacher it is sometimes necessary for me to point out things that are impeding their development. The teachers I had in my early days, two in particular, were very tough with me and they were very good at pointing out things about my personality that I needed to become aware of. Of course there was a reaction and my ego did not always like it, but what they were actually offering me was pearls.
Conflict cannot be handled in an emotionally intelligent way if you do not speak from your heart. If you try to avoid conflict situations at all cost, because of fear, you do yourself a great disservice. When allowing conflict or being within it, us human beings also have this tendency of projecting onto someone else and make them responsible for the conflict. Therefore I must say in truth: every time I have been met with inner or outer conflict and have dealt with it in, hopefully, an emotionally intelligent way it brings me nearer to myself and enables me to be more emotionally intelligent in my communication. Hopefully it gives me a better opportunity to entangle myself from the conflict.