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Conflict Series #2: How to Deal-Jo Tucker-becurious, breathe, conflict, reflect, resistance, mindfulness

Conflict Series #2: How to Deal

“How to Deal” is the second part in a three-part series on Conflict. If you missed #1, hop on over and check it out.

In Part One of this special conflict series, I illuminated a paradox in our lives- as women we’re often taught to avoid conflict lest you be labeled a bitch, overly emotional or too needy. But there are really healthy outcomes to conflict if we use an approach that is built on open-hearted communication.

But what does that actually look like?

The first thing we need to do when we’re feeling a conflict creep into our lives and our relationships is to get curious.

Notice how it’s often just a small event that tips us over the edge? This is because this is often something in our system that we’ve been soothing or ignoring over time. The event that made us explode isn’t the core issue, it’s something more.

As I mentioned before, this ignoring/soothing pattern is in place for a reason- it has served us well in our lives. But each conflict presents us with a new opportunity to be more skillful in conflict and lean into solving, rather than continuing our perpetual cycle of suffering.

The only hard part about this exercise is to actually catch oneself before the ‘blow up’. It requires mindfulness and a resistance to simply reacting to the situation in front of us.

We pause. We breathe. We reflect. We act. 

What am I really upset about? Am I feeling unheard/misunderstood/insignificant/unsafe? What is it that I truly want? Is this actually true? What do I need to remedy this? Is it something I can give myself, or do I need something from someone else here? And then, act accordingly.

Here’s the hard truth: sometimes conflict in our closest relationships are about someone else and how they are treating us. And sometimes, the conflict is really about ourselves and how we’re treating ourselves.

How do I know this? Because I learned this the hard way, babes. When I was feeling stagnant in my life and choices, I would turn to my partner to blame him for the lack of excitement in our lives. When I was feeling like my life was out of control, I tried to control my partner. When I felt not enough, I became a stage-four-clingy-jealous-insecure monster that judged everything he said or did.

I took my whole pile of unresolved issues and I shoved them into our relationship in a super-fun-passive-aggressive- ticking-time-bomb way that really, really sucked for the both of us + nearly destroyed our relationship on many occasions.

This is not to say that he was always perfect and that my feelings weren’t justified. This isn’t a way of excusing and allowing ourselves to be treated poorly. There is a fine line between mindful curiosity and taking radical self-responsibility and a very cunning path to soothing. It is up to us to discover where that line is.

And because we are both constantly evolving beings, just when you think you’ve got the habit nicked, it shows up in a new and exciting way.

So we remain curious. We keep leaning in with an open heart. We keep showing up in love.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and if you have any further questions about conflict. Let me know in the comments.



Conflict Series : #1 What is to be learned from leaning into conflict?-Jo Tucker-core needs, explore, healing, self love, strengthening self

Conflict Series : #1 What is to be learned from leaning into conflict?

Why do we get into conflict? In my understanding of the world, conflict comes into our lives when something is ready to be healed. Our subconscious mind attracts a conflictual situation to heal and move forward. The conflict comes not from this subconscious part, but from our ego-self, the part of us that seeks safety.

“I don’t want to change! I’m happy how I am! Please, stop!”, she says. She is afraid. She likes the familiar. She wants you to be safe.

She is misguided self-love. 

But what we know now is that if we don’t process this conflict, we will cycle in and out of the same conditions that bring us this specific type of conflict until the wound is healed.

I want to offer a solution to this hamster wheel of suffering:

To increase safety, you need to move towards the discomfort.

We shouldn’t seek to be conflict-free because conflict is actually freeing.

Instead of ignoring or soothing, get into it. There will always be problems in life. Concerns. Disappointments even.

Every solution, every resolution, will eventually lead to a new pain point. This is what it is to be a meaning-seeking, ever-expanding human being.

But what is conflict really about? Generally speaking, it is when we perceive that one of our core needs aren’t being met: safety, love and connection, significance. We want to be heard. We want to be understood. We want to matter.  

Stop trying to avoid it. Instead, explore what leaning into this discomfort can give you.

A short list of the benefits from my own personal experience and that of my clients: deeper intimacy, a strengthening of self, a new understanding of our partners/friends/selves, a freeing of past trauma, an expansion of the heart, an expansion in spaciousness, a letting go of things that harm us, a leaning into things that give us life, enhanced trust, enhanced peace… the list goes on.

The benefits of communicating with an open, loving heart in moments when you want to do the exact opposite far outweigh the momentary discomfort it brings. I know this because I was a chronic conflict-avoider/soother, and I’ve made it to the other side!

Stay tuned for the next few weeks to learn more about conflict skills from the new paradigm: how to warm up to conflict, how to centre oneself + stay open-hearted, how to communicate in a conflict… and more!


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