It’s controversial but we believe that the starting place when we face conflict is to say (and believe) that “The problem is me!”. This is because I am usually the only part of a conflictual situation that I can control or have influence over. I may not “win” or “solve” the conflict when I start with me, but I will grow in self-knowledge.
One of the most valuable areas of self-knowledge has to do with recognizing internal areas which cause me to trip up and fall into unhealthy conflict.
Here’s a challenge – take a look at the list below and take an honest inventory of yourself. How many of these might describe you?
- I know exactly what things set me off and cause me to overreact.
- I find myself reading other people’s minds.
- I know what I fear the most – whether it’s rejection, loss of control, abandonment, or something else.
- I have a clear read on the exact characteristics in others that annoy me the most. And I am aware of where those characteristics might reside in me.
- I know what things about myself I work hard to keep hidden from others.
- What things do I rarely if even do – even though they might benefit me?