Darn you Daily Prompt. Quit peering into the dark places of my psyche! Today’s Prompt is, “You’re in the middle of a terrible argument, and everyone turns to you to help resolve it. How do you respond? How do you react to conflict?”
Badly. I react badly.
My first instinct is to want to run and hide. To escape the conflict entirely. To close my eyes and pretend it isn’t there. But eventually I can’t help peeking, and then it’s too late. I’m drawn in.
Or should I say the conflict is drawn into me.
Because my problem is that I’m apt to internalize whatever conflict is going on around me. You see, I’m really good at seeing both sides of an argument. According to every psychometric evaluation I have ever taken, this is a great trait to have– until you have to actually make a decision.
I find that long after the conflict has passed in the “outside world” I am still playing reruns in my head. Still trying to sort out where I stand on the matter. Still trying to determine if someone was actually right and someone wrong, or if it was one of those conflicts where everyone was a little bit of both.
Come to think of it, most of our day-to-day conflicts are like that, aren’t they? More fuzzy and grey than black and white. More a matter of differing perspectives than opposing absolutes. That’s not to say there aren’t situations where there is a clear right and wrong. But I would venture to suggest that those situations do not reflect the majority of conflicts.
We are all, most of the time, a bit right and a bit wrong. And it’s a whole lot harder to own up to the wrong than it is to trumpet the right.
But when I think of all the conflicts I have played and replayed in my head over the years, I can scarcely think of one that would have remained a conflict for long if both parties had stopped to consider that they themselves might be contributing to the wrong, and that their opponent might– just might be in possession of a tiny morsel of right.