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Replacing Our Conflict Tensions

Some conflicts we have with our co-workers, friends, family and others seem to stay with us. Sometimes they linger long after the dispute is, for all intents and purposes, over. One of the consequences is a continuing distrust of the other person and ongoing feelings such as anger, despair and vulnerability.

If we examine why we do not move past the dispute that appeared to be over or resolved, it helps to find a theme. Is it the same person, the specific trigger point, the values that we perceive are being undermined, the assumptions we are making, the issues and so on?

To become conflict masterful – to be resilient and able to move on from our disputes – it helps to take a close look at the sorts of dynamics that keep them alive in our minds, hearts and souls. It also helps to consider what could replace the thoughts and feelings to help us move on.

This week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog repeats a common theme in conflict (and this blog) about letting go. This time you are invited to add another consideration though – how might you replace the tension and other feelings? Consider a dispute you are holding onto when answering the following questions:

  • What is the dispute about?
  • What feelings are lingering?
  • What is unfinished for you?
  • What do you wish you had said? What do you wish you had asked? What do you wish you had done differently?
  • What else might be keeping you engaged in this conflict?
  • If you were to let go, what emotional baggage would you get rid of?
  • With what positive feelings might you replace those emotions (your answer to the previous question)? With what positive thoughts might you replace your negative ones about the other person?
  • What else might help you move on?
  • When you replace the feelings and thoughts with others and start to let go, what will you think about yourself that will be different?
  • What may you say to the other person such that she or he will realize you have replaced your negative thoughts and feelings with more positive ones?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?


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