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Identifying Conflict

Definitions and Explanations

to help you along the way

Image by Andrew Neel

Before you can identify conflict, you need to be clear about how it is defined.  So, for the purpose of everyone being on the same page, I want to clarify some key definitions:

Conflict: An opportunity to transform painful information into healthy balanced relationships with yourself and others.

Conflict Alchemist: Any person with a willingness and a skillset to use their conflict as a tool of transformation.  Warriors willing to become masters at conflict resilience.

Conflict Resilience: The ability to manage your discomfort, both inner and outer, when conflict arises.  The ability to have all parts of you stay in the room when shit hits the fan.

Crisis: A painful radical interruption that provides an opportunity for full-scale transformation.

Discomfort: When you are feeling uncomfortable feelings in you body. You may experience some pain but it is pain that is at a 3 out of 10 or below.

Trigger: A trigger is a situation, incident, word, thought or understanding that leads to a state of anxiousness frustration anger or upset. It can be an event that reminds you of another painful event. 

How do you know if you are in conflict?

Well, usually, you are aware because you have an uncomfortable feeling - you are angry, guilty, upset frightened or in pain.  Your uncomfortable feelings usually tell you that you have a conflict.  If you do not do a great job of listening to your uncomfortable feelings, your body will tell you with your chronic pain that there is some conflict that needs your attention.

Sometimes you know you are in conflict because all the people around you are in pain.  You are fine, and you think everything is fine, but your employees are upset or don’t stay long, and everyone around you has a problem doing things the right way.

Or sometimes you are fine at work, but your personal life is taking a beating.  You find you cannot stay in a relationship for long because you keep picking the bad apples.  Or no one in your family is listening to you because they are all crazy.

Either way, you know you are in conflict when your discomfort or the discomfort of the people around you get in the way of you moving forward.

Why You Should Solve Conflicts
•    Household conflict directly impacts, longevity. Repeated exposure to relationship conflict increases sensitivity to physical pain.
•    Unresolved conflict is expensive. Workplace conflict eats up 359 billion dollars a year in the US alone!
•    Unresolved conflict is bad for your health.  Over time, unresolved conflict impairs your immune system.
•    Household conflict affects workplace performance as well as academic performance of children.
•    Unresolved conflict impacts your relationships both at work and at home and left unattended, may permanently destroy trust.

Common Ways to Address Conflict

You can ignore it.  The problem with this is when you ignore a conflict, your body cannot, and will continue to act as though it is under threat which will impact your health as well as your relationships.


•    You can talk to someone about it and vent or collect a ‘team’ to agree with your position which over time, breaks down trust and      establishes division in the home or workplace.

•    You can get angry, or yell or address your conflict with your power or position.

•    You can address the conflict by exploring your feeling and manage you first, then address the conflict with a difficult conversation     that plays the long game and intends to hold relationship.

Want to learn how to use conflict to play the long game and keep connections?  

 Click here:

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