I hate drama. I don’t like to see people fight. I change the TV channel when people are yelling at each other. I am happiest when everyone is working together, with smiles on their faces.
I also know some people love drama. They enjoy watching the housewives TV shows. They enjoy watching court dramas. Some people do drama and conflict for a living.
How do you feel about drama and conflict? Does the idea of having a heated argument with someone cause your stomach to tighten up? If so, this post is for you.
Conflict can be a good thing
It’s the place where Rubber meets the road, Earth meets sky, and where Waves crash on the beach.
It’s where stuff happens. Without conflict, things stay the same – no progress, no growth, no expansion.
Creativity is realized through conflict
On one side we view conflict as a bad thing, and on the other conflict gives us growth opportunities. How can we reconcile the different ways we see conflict? Can we embrace the creative part of conflict, without fearing the drama?
This is a struggle I’m working through. I want to get to the point where I see conflict without judgment. Where I can see it as easily as I see and enjoy the waves on the beach.
The fear you build up by avoiding the drama will only intensify and fester if you ignore it.
I’ve come up with three steps that help me and may work for you.
Step 1 Recognize when there is a conflict
The first step is to recognize conflict. Catch yourself in the moment of recognition and feel the discomfort.
Raise your hand, or wave a flag to tell yourself there’s conflict.
Step 2 Decide to participate or not
See the drama as something you can choose to join in or not.
I know this is easier said than done, but it simply takes some practice. When you are in the heat of the moment, everything feels so important and central. You feel compelled to react, and that reaction is often out of habit.
This is your opportunity to change your autopilot reaction!
If you can see the conflict as something separate from you, you can react to it objectively.
It’s like when you watch a horror movie and can easily see how foolish the character is as they head into the dark and ominous woods on their own. “Don’t do it!!!” you yell to yourself, but they go anyway.
It’s the same with conflict. When you take a few moments to create space, you can objectively see what you are doing.
Step 3 Do something
If your choice is to engage, do something to participate appropriately.
If you choose not to engage, then focus elsewhere. Walk away. This is different from avoidance as you are intentionally focusing elsewhere.
The liberation you’ll feel by following through with your choice of action is priceless. You are boldly going where you might not have gone before.
When you find yourself confronting drama and conflict, try these three steps to move beyond the fear and anxiety.
And, if you are like me, you can begin to experience conflict as easily as watching the waves on the beach.