A Different Way To Keep Conflicts Away
My Practical Experience
We are humans. And humans are everything but easy. Living with others, even with our own family members, is not easy. Why even others, when to live with our own ‘selves’ is a huge challenge to every one of us, isn’t it? Is it easy to live with your ‘self’? Neither can we avoid ourselves, nor our family members. But, conflict is on both sides, more so within us than with others.
In this article, I’ll show you a way to deal with the conflicts that arise between immediate relationships, i.e. our family members. Dealing with inner conflicts will take a separate article. So, let me know if you want to go into that too. I’ll definitely touch upon that.
Let’s come back to our present topic: that is, to keep conflicts away in family situations or close relationships.
A little disclaimer: I am not an RM (Relationship Manager). Nor am I a family counsellor. But I am a teacher. And as much as I like to learn about how to live, I also like to teach others. So, consider me a friend, with whom you’re discussing things in a fine afternoon.
Well, we can adopt different techniques to our individual scenarios and the nature of the conflict. What I do is simply a way to keep conflicts away, if not totally, at least to the minimum level.
Yes, you heard me right. Be silent! Learn to be silent.
When any conflicting situation arises, what do we do? We immediately react. Once you’ve reacted, you’ve let go the arrow of negativity and have inflamed the situation. Now, as we all know, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. So, you are caught in conflicts and clashes.
Now you would say, that’s impossible—to remain calm and composed during high-temperature situations! Let’s say, there is a person in your family whose habit it is to always bite and bicker at every incident, even when you have actually done nothing. Now, how to deal with such a person? How to keep conflicts away? You cannot avoid that person. And he or she never loses any chance to comment on your conduct, to call you bad names, to insult you even in front of others. To live with even one such person is enough to make any sane man mad and frustrated.
Let’s take another example. Another major reason for constant conflict is people’s expectations, right? People, especially our elders, want us to be a certain way, to have the same desires, attitudes, morals and values as they have. And when we don’t match their expectations or don’t come up to the level of their expectations, they react in unhealthy ways. Some abuse us verbally, some make us feel unworthy, so hurt us emotionally so badly that either we want to escape from this ‘trauma centre’ a.k.a home, or want to end all relations with them.
Now, back to our original question: how to keep conflicts away? The fact is we cannot always avoid such people. But to adjust and compromise with our mental peace and happiness is not desirable either. So, the only solution is: either you change them for the better or you change your way of dealing with them. The first option only God can help us with! We very often make this mistake: we try to change others. But we forget that they want to change us! That’s the whole breeding ground of conflicts and clashes. Who would change whom? This whole effort to change the others is the greatest inhumanity we do to each other. If you are sensible enough and reading this article, I ardently urge you to stop this nonsense today! This is where we lack maturity. One, who is mature, would not try to change anybody, because s/he knows how foolish an act this is. Everybody is afoot to change everyone, except himself! Isn’t that amazing‽
I’m reminded of a quote by Leo Tolstoy. It stayed with me ever since—
“Everyone thinks of changing the world. No one thinks of changing himself.”
When you are reacting, you are trying to change the other person. Please see it. And also see the futility of it. Nobody can change anybody if s/he doesn’t want to change! It’s simply impossible. Therefore, don’t try to change others. I’m not saying, just bear their brunt! No. I’m just saying, don’t react. Learn to respond!
This is where your maturity is tested. If you’ve realised that people are the way they are, and you cannot change them by force or resistance, then you’ll not react to anybody, you’ll learn to respond.
There are many ways to respond. And being silent is one of them. And believe me or not, silence is the greatest armour against people! Now, what do I mean by being silent? And how silence is a way of responding? It is!
Being silent doesn’t mean to silently keep digesting every poison they spew out, rather it’s the attitude of not letting anything impact you. Through silence, you are showing that you know very early what you are, what you are doing and why you’re doing that and that you don’t have to defend yourself at every turn and prove yourself to others. And also you are showing that their comments are not worth your attention!— This is a great slap to those who try to impose themselves upon you. When they realise you don’t heed them, two things can happen: either they will become more offended and angry, or they will realise their words don’t impact you.
By being silent you are not showing that you are afraid. On the contrary, it’s a brave attitude actually. Most people lose their calm and react. It takes maturity and understanding of others—what others want and expect from you, and also what your truth is. By being silent you not only successfully kill more brawls and conflict, you actually learn to be stronger! Practising silence makes us tremendously stronger inwardly. If you also practise silence, you’d know how exactly powerful this is.
And also, by being silent, you are training yourself not to react. You learn to hold yourself together. This builds inner resilience!
And, by being silent you are also not hurting anybody. How’s it for benefits? Enough? Convinced?
So, will you be silent?
[P.S: Remember, you should also know when and how to respond. Obviously, we can't always be silent. So, if you must reply, do so only when it requires your intervention. Most of the time, situations just need to be let go. Have the maturity to be silent and also responsive in a proper manner. It's a fine balance, you know.]