Remaining calm in conflicts has been the goal of many people. “How do I maintain my calm when I’m boiling from the inside?” is a question I’ve been asked many times. I also meet those people who’ve mastered the tact of remaining calm in conflicts. “I never lose my cool or raise my voice in any situation of conflict”, they say. Both have lost their sanity, in my view. Both have entered the game of clash of personalities.
What is a Conflict?
Conflict is a situation of disagreement between two or more people with a certain conviction or belief. Emotions get charged up leading to a sudden or gradual loss of control resulting in either overexpression (through words, gestures or physical body movements) or forced suppression. This is the nature of the conflict.
When you read the above carefully, where is the scope of calmness anywhere in this situation? You’re a ticking time bomb, waiting for your turn to explode. You could explode even out of turn 🙂. The moment conflict begins, reactions start getting created inside human heads. Slowly these reactions spread and start becoming the predominant emotion. Now, all human faculties are under siege. Either this emotion will break all your defenses and result in the expression of reactions or will remain within the boundaries but will keep lurking at the fringes, waiting to leak.
- Silent treatment is one method used in conflicts. One stops speaking and ensures that the other one knows that they are being ignored. This is not disengagement. In fact this an active negative engagement. Till the time that another person does not get irritated and react, the silent treatment continues.
- Innocent Humiliation is used where you say something innocently to that person in the presence of other people in a manner that reveals the truth about that person in public. This is more like public shaming. The other person is sometimes left red-faced and sometimes this is designed to trigger a particular reaction. Sally has a habit of carrying homemade food whenever she goes out for work. Joe is in conflict with this idea of home food at work. When sitting amongst some clients when they are breaking for lunch, How makes an innocent public remark, “Will you also be joining us over lunch and eat what we eat?” This innocent looking question is a leak, the context of which both Sally and Joe understand. For other people, it has opened a question where they will now ask Sally, why will she not consider joining them for Lunch? or does she have a problem in eating normal food?, or even a question like, are you well Sally?, why won’t you eat what we all will eat?
- Sarcasm is another method that leaks the reactions under the construct of conflicts. A statement by Joe in this case may be on the lines like, “Well, Sally won’t be eating the same food like we, mortals, consume” or “What healthy and divine food have you brought today Sally?” or “Sally, it seems the healthy food has not doing you too well, you seem to be losing the shine that you normally have when you eat the normal food like all of us.”
- Sniggering Jokes is a method where Sarcasm and Innocent Humiliation are combined. This is again done publicly. These are usually the worst of all the forms. If objected to, Joe can turn around and put the entire blame on Sally by calling her oversensitive and further extending this behavior of harassment through jokes. If Sally will confront him he will simply claim innocence and blame Sally of being devious and misinterpreting his sense of humor . This is the most covert form of behavior of people in inner conflicts.
What is better? Expression or Suppression (followed by leaks)?
Why don’t we examine a 3rd method? What if we started working on our own convictions and examined our limitations caused by those? What if we made a clear choice that we will not Dis-engage or cause negative Engagements and each time we experience this, we will look within and overcome another one of our limiting beliefs or convictions?
There are times when you can witness the hardened beliefs and convictions of other people. When you have actively examined your own beliefs and convictions, you kind of start respecting other people for the limitations they live with, so long as they choose to remain within their closed or Ego driven mind. People live with beliefs and convictions. These are their survival tools. Allow them to survive. If your focus will be on how to enhance engagement with people, you will exit the mental situation of conflicts and probably help others do that too.
Do this Now.
Check your behaviour patterns for the leaks above. Work on yourself. You will never be able to remain calm in any conflict, so drop the pretense. Best is to work on your beliefs and convictions so that there are no Conflicts. Life is too abundant and can embrace all of us in all our forms.
Read this blog carefully and allow stimulation of your own convictions and beliefs. Your mind will either accept the above or will tend to question or reject it. Watch your reactions carefully. If you deem fit, share with me and others. It may help someone, you never know 🙂 .
PS: Just fully recovered from the SKC Samarth of 27th April. Will start sharing thoughts with you again, more regularly. Hope you have been doing well in this time.