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Getting Through Conflict

From: Steven Ng pkiam@singnet.com.sg
Date: Sun, 09 May 1999 20:01:46 +0800

A student was asked to write an essay about the Quakers. He wrote: "The Quakers are very meek, quiet people who never fight or answer back. I think my father is a Quaker. Not my mother."

Some people, like his mother, may be more verbal during conflict. Others may want to quietly mull the problem over a bit before talking about it. But conflict is a natural and even healthy part of relationships. It is especially important to resolve differences with people we care about and, when conflict is handled correctly, it can actually bring us closer together.

Author and counsellor Charlie Shedd, reports getting this note on the kitchen counter after some "un-resolved" conflict with his wife: "Dear Charlie, I hate you. Love, Martha." What an interesting note! She told him she was angry, but she told him something else, too. She told him that, in spite of her present feelings, she loved him. Through it all, she was saying, she will always love him.

A basic commitment to love one another is the foundation upon which caring relationships are built. When in conflict with those closest to you, that decision to love -- through it all -- is vital.

No technique, no amount of training, however important, will do more to get you through those tough times