I hate conflict. Lots of emotion, tears, battles, harsh words, cold shoulders…all of it. Hate it. Nobody likes it – I know, but it seems to be something I’ve avoided most of my life. Interestingly, with my clients it’s no problem. They can get emotional all they want, I’m fine. My family? Friends? Oy. Not as fine.
Ironically, this avoidance of conflict has caused more conflict, not less.
At home, it usually happens with my husband. I can see he’s upset, and instead of asking questions or opening conversation, or simply being present for him – I go the other way. It feels too overwhelming. Sometimes it shows up in my parenting (saying yes when I mean no, so I don’t cause more “work” for myself). Works like a charm…Ha! Crap.
I’ve looked at this from all different angles (Enneagram, Astrologically, Personality Type, Highly Sensitive Person, among others). And while all of those helped a little, it wasn’t until I started really understanding my emotions, empathy, intuition, and innate design that I generated strategies to help me stomach conflict better.
Emotions are messy. Especially the ones that come with a lot of snot. (Of course a good belly laugh can also come with tears and snot too-but why discriminate?)
I’m done discriminating against certain emotions and simply become more discerning between what’s mine and what’s other people’s.
Sometimes I watch my kids and see how the way I deal with conflict and tough emotions is the way they have learned to deal with them and I feel sad. I feel like I should have done a better job being accepting of a full range of emotions and managing my frustrations. Sometimes I fear it’s too late-they’re hard-wired to react that way too. You ever feel like that?
Then I remember that right here, right now I have the power to change the way I deal with conflict, and the power to manage my energy & emotions. And I remember that my kids have that power too. After all…I’m learning it and I’m ‘old.’ 😉
It just so happens I’m dishing up some of the insights & strategies that have made the most impact for me around emotions this Wednesday on the Ask Kris call. You can click the link to join us or get the recording if you can’t make it live. (PS-message me your burning questions about emotions & kids and messes and I’ll answer them (anonymously) on the call).
Here’s to the mess…and to emotions and a healthy dose of indiscriminate snot. http://www.krisprochaska.com/ask-kris