When conflict arose in my life such as a disagreement, a difference of opinion, a test of wills, I would strongly voice my opinion knowing that my opinion was the only one that mattered, and like a four year old having a tantrum, if I was not listened to and respected, I would leave, calling that person all kinds of names in my head, and vow to never talk to them again. And then I would tell everyone how they wronged me, how they hurt me, how they abused our friendship.

Even writing this, I can scarcely believe that this was how I used to live my life. And really not that long ago.

This Victim mentality present in todays world and throughout the ages, causes wars both in the home and in the workplace, and in the world.

I was raised watching my entire family deal with conflict in an unhealthy manner,  you simply  did not talk to them for many years, even a lifetime, and you ignored anything other than an apology that sounded more like groveling.  And so I continued the family tradition.

Conflict can show up in other ways as well. Gossip is conflict. It is hurtful. Avoidance is another way of conflict.

After years of judgment and pain, I started to realize that this behaviordid not serve only me but the next generations that were up and coming were learning this same behavior. There is a way to live your life peacefully with other people. You can disagree and be friends as well.

So how do you stop the pattern. Simply put you stop the action. You start to realize that two people can disagree and when they do, as the grown up,you can handle it.

Stop the action of letting people disappear from your life when they disagree with you. Love the differences. Conflict is simply the ability to see things differently and if you look, you can learn from them.

Conflict is a two way street. Without two,there can be no conflict. In my martial arts class the best defense is to not get hit by moving to the side of the punch. In conflict, get out of the way and let any emotions drain away before continuing. And then talk about the conflict with respect and love.

Another way of handling conflict is to accept anothers point of view. The truth is that this is their truth as they know is now.

One of my teachers asked me once, “Do you want to be happy or do you want to be right?” The less stressful course of action is to be happy.

So the next time you come across conflict with the people in your life, stop and ask the question,” Do I want to be happy or do I want to be right?” And then forgive and send compassion to them. Most of the time, they are just not aware of what they do or how it is affecting you. Ask yourself why are you seeing this now and what can you learn? And then let it go.