After some of the questions I have been wrestling through for Sunday night, and many of the conversations I have been having, the subject of conflict, disagreement, and how we stay in community together. Greg and I have been having a conversation in the comments here, and I think it makes for an important post.
There are not two sides to the conflict issue. It seems so often that a person is either confrontational or non-confrontational (passive aggressive). I propose that in my case, conflict | disagreement | differences are handle by means of “relational prioritization.” Or perhaps I could say, common sense, empathetic response, or maintaining the mystery and wonder of the complexities of perception and experience. It really pays to check the comments that Greg and I have left in order to get what I am saying…. And I definitely don’t expect people to agree or understand what I mean. Here is my top ten for my own nuances of conflict and disagreement.
- People have different perceptions of how things happen in life. This is ok and I cannot control it.
- Someone else’s perception (or experience) does not have to hurt me, offend me, or make me stop loving them.
- Not everyone thinks this, so I must be careful about what I say so as to keep a conversation going.
- It does not make sense for me to carelessly say everything I think all the time… because of the previous statement.
- Asking questions often allows for the other to consider my idea without actually saying that it is my idea or position…
- Asking questions also allows space in the conversation that I am not filling with my own defense, main-points, sub-points, rabbit trails, aggressive position, and all other things that usually make the other feel like I know more than he/she
- If someone wants to know more, they will ask the question. But again I defer to #4
- Paying attention to the other person allows me to know whether it makes sense to fight this battle or how far to go with my own thoughts on the subject.
- I repeat, I am allowed to pick my battles
- At the very core, I care more for this person than his/her arguments… no matter what, I am committed to continuing on with this person, sticking together, journeying, loving, accepting, and growing.