Are You Afraid of Conflict?
Having conflict with others can feel incredibly scary. When we’re raised in verbally, emotionally, physically, and psychologically abusive environments we are told to be obedient otherwise we will experience punishment. Punishment may come in different forms- parental neglect or abandonment, or physical assault/corporal punishment.
Life continues to show us through our various types of relationships that to survive means to avoid conflict if we are to maintain our false empowered sense of self….but when we really think about it, if we’re walking through life denying our feelings, needs, truths- we are actually waging a war against ourselves. We become invisible to the outside world and complacent in others’ dismissal of us.
Having a voice can feel intense. Speaking up, especially to authority, can be especially scary if we’re afraid of backlash and negative consequences (something that BIPOC definitely endure on various systemic levels)—so we might very well be conditioned to choose silence.
There are moments where silence is important, if it is a conscious choice you’re making to listen before responding. But if you’re finding yourself in patterns of being untrue to yourself to avoid disappointing people, or because you’re afraid of making people mad/sad at you, it’s important for you to consider what will feel the heaviest in your heart?
Understand conflict is inevitable in life. Some people agree with us, some don’t. Some people like us, some don’t. Some of it are others’ projections, some of it might be our wounding hurting others. To speak up will mean that you become visible to the outside world, which means there will come a time someone else will differ in opinion from you. On the contrary, to remain silent or untrue to self, will make you invisible to the outside world. You will certainly evade conflict with others, but you will also create inner conflict. Inner anger. Inner shame. Your inner war. At what cost are you willing to avoid conflict?
Which are you more willing to accept- conflict with others? (self-preservation) or conflict with Self? (self-abandonment)
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