When I went on line to read the definitions of the word conflict I found the focus to be on analyzing the experiences versus understanding the source of the behavior. As well, there was only focus on negative behavior. getting InTouch’s definition is quite different. It is not written from the perspective of someone’s opinion and (t/pr)eaching, but written for understanding, learning and integration of one’s own interpretation of it! The focus shifts inward for understanding and away from looking outside at external explanations. After-all, how can you integrate an analysis into your habitual behavior to change it? You can’t! You need the steps for change.
getting InTouch definition:
The term conflict is an evaluative expression of a reactive experience. It begins with perception that is filtered through opinions and beliefs which create emotion that results in a reaction or action. Conflict is a label to name an experience. It is not limited to negative experiences. Conflict occurs when there is an interruption to one’s ordinary experience in the moment. It is not the resulting behavior. It is one’s unique *perspective and emotions that arise with met or unmet needs that then is followed by the action taken to meet that need. This is then what creates conflict for others.
*Our perspective and emotions are unique to us and learned from our own personal background of learning, faith and family history. No one else has the same unique perspective.
- Simple examples that all happened while writing this post:
1. Conflict between two people:
My daughter interrupts my work to ask me my opinion about a program we watched the night before and when I share my opinion she raises her voice and tells me I am wrong. Feeling impatient I simply cut her off and say, “Forget it, I am not having this conversation now!” My conflict is that my needs for ease and peace to focus on my work are not being met and I am frustrated. We do not have a connection as neither of our needs are met! She interrupted me to have a connection herself and when she didn’t agree with my interpretation my resulting reaction would create pain for her. Her need would not have been met and there would be consequences. She’s hurt and angry.
2. Inner conflict and conflict between two people:
The same daughter interrupts me later to give me affection and we hug. I have a need met for connection and I also have a need to focus on my work. Therefore I experience a conflict in the moment of these two sets of needs. I feel loving and rushed at the same time. She may feel disappointed and confused at not having my full attention yet also had her need for touch is met.
3. Conflict with connection:
My daughter is dancing while I am working and I stop to watch. I smile at the pleasure I am feeling and she comes over for a soft hug and we connect in a warm and joyful way. I still have a need to continue to work yet in the moment connecting with her was a greater need. She responded and her need was met in the moment.
Conflict happens at the level of perception and experiencing the emotions, followed by the actions we take (or not take) to met our needs.
Imagine if we began to learn our behavior and stopped analyzing and judging it! We’d be the change we want to be in the world!
Renee Lindstrom – 10/27/13