Everyone struggles with conflict. It’s an undeniable and unavoidable truth in the world we live in.

Managing conflict is a learned art, one not many are privy in. I’m not here to tell you how to manage your conflict – the purpose of this article is simply to recognize it, categorize it, then deal with it while attempting to move forward. 

It’s that easy, right?!

I know what you’re thinking – and I completely agree with you! It is way easier said than done. So, let’s start off with the first step: Recognizing the type of conflict you’re dealing with. 

Internal Conflict 

Jacquelyn Wieland, Growth Strategist of Solutions Provided, LLC., says, “It’s the conversation we have with ourselves, it’s the churn we create, the reaction we have to something that has happened or we have heard.” 

It’s the conversation we have with ourselves, it’s the churn we create, the reaction we have to something that has happened or we have heard.

Think back to a time when you didn’t get your way. Maybe it was a rescheduled meeting you had prepared for, you were late to an event because you got stuck in traffic, maybe someone called you out for showing up more emotional than you think. This is a narrative you have with yourself creating negative energy and reactive stress. 

Some of us are guilty of stewing in a situation. You begin reading so far into it, it controls your thought process and impacts your relationships. The most frustrating part? No one else is reacting to it like you are. They’re not even acknowledging the wrongdoings you experienced. 

The longer you spin that story and create that narrative based on your own perception of what happened you create internal conflict. So, what are you doing with that? Are you starting to pull away and avoid, or is it pushing you to engage and react? 

“Most people have a narrative in their head that creates distance in relationships, internal misperception, churn and, in turn, the word we often land on – conflict,” says Weiland. 

Imagine you’re holding a big bag. Every time your spouse, family member or co-worker does something you deem as producing conflict, you add it to that bag. The bag fills with grudges, frustrations, narratives and eventually, it explodes into you blowing up on that person. 

This turns into external conflict. 

The lesson is sometimes we are wrong. Sometimes we need to have the courage to have a conversation. This may seem impossible and uncomfortable, but bringing the person you are having internal conflict with into the conversation allows you to resolve misunderstanding. 

How much time are you wasting on a perception you have created in your head that is internal conflict, only YOU are living with? 

Don’t allow yourself to get stuck when things go unexpectedly. This can tend to create distance and you simply are not moving forward. You can find yourself wasting time holding onto a slice of something that may or may not be a real issue. But in your own mind you have created an issue.

Try your best to acknowledge that fault, free that fester and move toward a more complete and happy reality. 

Jacquelyn Wieland’s Congruent Leader can be found exclusively on Leaderpass. Click here to learn more!