People begin the spiral of misommunication that leads to dissension between two parties makes me highly uncomfortable. As I am standing by, I start looking for away to exit the stage.
It make me uncomfortable because I feel that I can clearly see the where the misunderstanding and I wonder why they cannot see it. I feel if I am caught in the room when everything hits the ceiling, I will have to mediate and that means that i will have to take sides. Heaven forbid I have to take a side and forced to alienate on of the people in the conflict.
Me in conflict is something that I hard for me to explain. I might what people would call conflict avoidant. I like to call it more a diplomatic. I believe that my responsibility is perspective taking, in short put myself in their shoes and see where conflict may arise from. If I can understand where the other person is coming from I can some how resolve the conflict. It works for the most part.
But it does not always.
It is those times when it does not work that makes me torn up inside.
It does not work when the other person refuses to let me know enough to see things from their perspective. And at that point, I have to either begin to withdraw myself or start playing the guessing game to stay engaged. The guessing game is dangerous, especial when you have very little or a very false impression from which to work form. People hate it when you assume something about them and it is wrong; they see it as manipulation and judgment of them as a person.
Nothing hurts worst than than when you are trying to understand and they accuse you of knowing them and how they think. I was under the impression that people desired to be known, that to actually know someone what to understand their character. For someone to know me is different than to be known by them. To know someone is to know their hometown, job, hobbies, likes and dislike; but for someone to be known, that entail time and disclosure- knowing the stories and experiences that shape who they are and dictate the decisions they make; see how they speak to themselves, the lies that tell themselves and the truths they deny in there hearts. These are things that are revealed over time and can be forces out.
Very few people know me. Few people know experiences that largely shape how I see the world. And for the most part, only a few people need to know what those things are. The older I am getting, who I am is becoming less defined by theory and observation of others’ experiences and more defined by application of theory and observation and understanding my own experiences. I am learning that my story is intertwined with everyone else’s story and that my shared experiences can be used to speak into someone’s life and be used to speak into my own life.
I am learning that there is a such thing as good conflict. As strange as it sounds, it is true- conflict is just a misunderstanding; however, it is how you manage the conflict that dictates if the conflict was good or bad. I cannot shy away from conflict because it is inevitable and inescapable part of the human experience; a part of the human experience that God use to call his people to himself.
I apologize for not posting last week- We had a huge conference at school, what’s theme was conflict, but it through me for loop. So here is a part of my thought on the topic.