How To Avoid A Conflict

argu­ment |ˈärgyəmənt|


1 an exchange of diverg­ing or oppo­site views, typ­i­cally a heated or angry one

Accord­ing to the above def­i­n­i­tion – and we will con­cen­trate on the most com­mon vari­ety – an argu­ment is a con­flict of views or opinions.

In order to be able to dis­solve a con­flict we must first be able to dis­tin­guish between a fact and an opin­ion or a per­sonal view.

The fol­low­ing are some exam­ples of opin­ion statements:

This is ter­ri­ble

You are wrong

You are a jerk, rude, etc.

You are very late

You always do that

You never ______

And here are some fact statements:

It is rain­ing here

I am home

You arrived at 2:40 PM

I am hungry

I think that you ______

The door is open

You said: _____

I did not go to work yesterday

Most of the time con­flict arises from think­ing that our opin­ions are facts and our treat­ing them as facts. The prob­lem starts when we start tak­ing actions based on what we per­ceive as a fact but in real­ity they are only our opinions.

Often we are blind to the fact that our opin­ions are just that, and although they may appear as facts to us, they are just “our” truths and not THE truths. The first step in dis­solv­ing a con­flict of this nature is to start own­ing our opin­ions.

As a speaker we can start by mod­i­fy­ing the way we make statements:

Instead of say­ing “This is wrong” you may say I THINK that this is wrong. Instead of say­ing: “You are wrong”, you may want to ask: “Why do you think that?” Instead of angry become curious.

Opin­ions are inter­pre­ta­tions, judg­ments and assess­ments ABOUT what hap­pened. Opin­ions are gen­er­ated in our mind.

I have heard many peo­ple fight tooth and nail to prove that their opin­ions are true. And yes, they are true, but only for them and not nec­es­sar­ily for any­one else. Just because some or ALL the peo­ple agree with your opin­ion, it does not make it any more true.



We cre­ate our rela­tion­ships from the very start. The prob­lem is that we are mostly clue­less how to go about it. Our actions often stem from our feel­ings and beliefs, and what we’ve seen from our par­ents. No one ever attended 101 Rela­tion­ship class at school. That’s why I decided to help peo­ple with their rela­tion­ships, because I can.

I sell hun­dreds of Rela­tion­ship Savers every week. The let­ters I very often receive start with: “My part­ner broke up with me three months ago….” Some­times it’s a year or more. I have been won­der­ing for a while now,  why peo­ple wait until it is almost too late to ask for help about their rela­tion­ship. Most rela­tion­ships, i.e., more than 50%, are not happy ones. Peo­ple either break up, or stay in an unhappy rela­tion­ship due to fear, con­ve­nience, eco­nom­ics, chil­dren, you name it. Why do peo­ple not ask for help as soon as they notice a change for the worse?

I guess only you can answer that ques­tion for your­self, but the prob­lem seems to have some gen­er­al­i­ties which almost every­one can find some­thing to iden­tify with. The most preva­lent rea­sons are: hope and fear.

Hope is always asso­ci­ated with the future. We hope that things will change, that or our per­cep­tion of the sit­u­a­tion is wrong, that it is only a tem­po­rary thing that will pass as soon as cir­cum­stances change. Hope that some­thing will hap­pen to change the sit­u­a­tion or that we will find a way to change it our­selves. Hope that God will help us. Hope that our part­ner will real­ize his/her wrong­do­ing and stop, and so on. Feel free to add your own hope. Well, hope is a sur­vival mech­a­nism to ward off fear. Hope is a very effec­tive tool for trick­ing our ratio­nal mind into going to sleep for a while longer. When one loses hope one tends to be depressed. The two are almost syn­ony­mous. Hope gen­er­ates pro­cras­ti­na­tion, stag­na­tion, and cur­tails action. Hold­ing onto hope sup­ports a sta­tus quo, no mat­ter how bad it is. The more you hope the more stuck you will get, often until it’s too late for action. This becomes a great excuse for not tak­ing action. I was hop­ing he/she would change, you may say.  Hope is the per­fect way to fall into a vic­tim mode, which admit­tedly can be a very cozy place to be. Victim-hood knows no per­sonal respon­si­bil­ity. It is always some­one else’s fault and some­one else, i.e., your part­ner, who should change. Change is scary, so you do not want to ini­ti­ate it.

Fear is our best friend and worst enemy. Fear helps us sur­vive. If we had no fear of heights, snakes, hot or cold we’d all be dead a long time ago. Our brain is struc­tured in such way that on a sub­con­scious level we can­not dis­tin­guish between dif­fer­ent causes of fear. Fear is a feel­ing that we can­not con­trol. In gen­eral, we can­not con­trol our feel­ings. What we can do is become aware of our feel­ings and trans­fer atten­tion from the amigdala (feel­ing cen­ter of the brain) to the neo­cor­tex (the con­scious, think­ing and rea­son­ing part of the brain). In other words, make a con­scious deci­sion whether our fear is a fear from an oncom­ing bus, or a sim­ple con­ver­sa­tion. One will kill us, the other will not.  Now, how long have you been par­a­lyzed with fear? Fear that you will be alone, fear that if he leaves you will become home­less and die, fear that you will not be loved or that you will be rejected if you take this or that action. Fear that your child/ren will suf­fer. Fear of mak­ing a mis­take, feel­ing guilty, hurt­ing his/her feel­ings, fear of loss, etc. Again, find your own fear that is stop­ping you from tak­ing action.

All this is sim­ple but I real­ize that it is not so easy to do. The first step is to admit that you do not quite know what to do when your rela­tion­ship hits a bump. This is called get­ting in touch with real­ity. Not know­ing is not bad or good. It just is. On what basis do we pre­sume that we “should” know how to cre­ate a good rela­tion­ship. We pre­sume and we think that if we could only find the right per­son — our soul mate — we will live hap­pily ever after. It only hap­pens in Dis­ney stu­dios, not in real life.

Deny­ing that prob­lem exists or that it is seri­ous, pro­cras­ti­nat­ing, post­pon­ing and going for help to peo­ple who have not taken that Rela­tion­ship 101 class is mostly a waste of pre­cious time and the chance to save your rela­tion­ship or make a healthy start of a new one. That was the rea­son for my Writ­ing The Rela­tion­ship Saver and The Game­less Rela­tion­ship backed up with this blog.


Susccess & Hapiness

Great arti­cle.

What is your expe­ri­ence of a relationship

between suc­cess and happiness?

The San­dra Bul­lok Trade

By David Brooks
The New York Times
March 30, 2010

Two things hap­pened to San­dra Bul­lock this month. First, she won an Acad­emy Award for best actress. Then came the news reports claim­ing that her hus­band is an adul­ter­ous jerk. So the philo­sophic ques­tion of the day is: Would you take that as a deal? Would you exchange a tremen­dous pro­fes­sional tri­umph for a severe per­sonal blow?

On the one hand, an Acad­emy Award is noth­ing to sneeze at. Bul­lock has earned the admi­ra­tion of her peers in a way very few expe­ri­ence. She’ll make more money for years to come. She may even live longer. Research by Don­ald A. Redelmeier and Shel­don M. Singh has found that, on aver­age, Oscar win­ners live nearly four years longer than nom­i­nees that don’t win.

Nonethe­less, if you had to take more than three sec­onds to think about this ques­tion, you are absolutely crazy. Mar­i­tal hap­pi­ness is far more impor­tant than any­thing else in deter­min­ing per­sonal well-being. If you have a suc­cess­ful mar­riage, it doesn’t mat­ter how many pro­fes­sional set­backs you endure, you will be rea­son­ably happy. If you have an unsuc­cess­ful mar­riage, it doesn’t mat­ter how many career tri­umphs you record, you will remain sig­nif­i­cantly unfulfilled.

This isn’t just ser­mo­niz­ing. This is the age of research, so there’s data to back this up. Over the past few decades, teams of researchers have been study­ing hap­pi­ness. Their work, which seemed flimsy at first, has devel­oped an impres­sive rigor, and one of the key find­ings is that, just as the old sages pre­dicted, worldly suc­cess has shal­low roots while inter­per­sonal bonds per­me­ate through and through.

For exam­ple, the rela­tion­ship between hap­pi­ness and income is com­pli­cated, and after a point, ten­u­ous. It is true that poor nations become hap­pier as they become middle-class nations. But once the basic neces­si­ties have been achieved, future income is lightly con­nected to well-being. Grow­ing coun­tries are slightly less happy than coun­tries with slower growth rates, accord­ing to Carol Gra­ham of the Brook­ings Insti­tu­tion and Eduardo Lora. The United States is much richer than it was 50 years ago, but this has pro­duced no mea­sur­able increase in over­all hap­pi­ness. On the other hand, it has become a much more unequal coun­try, but this inequal­ity doesn’t seem to have reduced national happiness.

On a per­sonal scale, win­ning the lot­tery doesn’t seem to pro­duce last­ing gains in well-being. Peo­ple aren’t hap­pi­est dur­ing the years when they are win­ning the most pro­mo­tions. Instead, peo­ple are happy in their 20’s, dip in mid­dle age and then, on aver­age, hit peak hap­pi­ness just after retire­ment at age 65.

Peo­ple get slightly hap­pier as they climb the income scale, but this depends on how they expe­ri­ence growth. Does wealth inflame unre­al­is­tic expec­ta­tions? Does it desta­bi­lize set­tled rela­tion­ships? Or does it flow from a vir­tu­ous cycle in which an inter­est­ing job pro­duces hard work that in turn leads to more inter­est­ing opportunities?

If the rela­tion­ship between money and well-being is com­pli­cated, the cor­re­spon­dence between per­sonal rela­tion­ships and hap­pi­ness is not. The daily activ­i­ties most asso­ci­ated with hap­pi­ness are sex, social­iz­ing after work and hav­ing din­ner with oth­ers. The daily activ­ity most inju­ri­ous to hap­pi­ness is com­mut­ing. Accord­ing to one study, join­ing a group that meets even just once a month pro­duces the same hap­pi­ness gain as dou­bling your income. Accord­ing to another, being mar­ried pro­duces a psy­chic gain equiv­a­lent to more than $100,000 a year.

If you want to find a good place to live, just ask peo­ple if they trust their neigh­bors. Lev­els of social trust vary enor­mously, but coun­tries with high social trust have hap­pier peo­ple, bet­ter health, more effi­cient gov­ern­ment, more eco­nomic growth, and less fear of crime (regard­less of whether actual crime rates are increas­ing or decreasing).

The over­all impres­sion from this research is that eco­nomic and pro­fes­sional suc­cess exists on the sur­face of life, and that they emerge out of inter­per­sonal rela­tion­ships, which are much deeper and more important.

The sec­ond impres­sion is that most of us pay atten­tion to the wrong things. Most peo­ple vastly over­es­ti­mate the extent to which more money would improve our lives. Most schools and col­leges spend too much time prepar­ing stu­dents for careers and not enough prepar­ing them to make social deci­sions. Most gov­ern­ments release a ton of data on eco­nomic trends but not enough on trust and other social con­di­tions. In short, mod­ern soci­eties have devel­oped vast insti­tu­tions ori­ented around the things that are easy to count, not around the things that mat­ter most. They have an affin­ity for mate­r­ial con­cerns and a pri­mor­dial fear of moral and social ones.

This may be chang­ing. There is a rash of com­pelling books — includ­ing “The Hid­den Wealth of Nations” by David Halpern and “The Pol­i­tics of Hap­pi­ness” by Derek Bok — that argue that pub­lic insti­tu­tions should pay atten­tion to well-being and not just mate­r­ial growth nar­rowly conceived.

Gov­ern­ments keep ini­ti­at­ing poli­cies they think will pro­duce pros­per­ity, only to get sacked, time and again, from their spir­i­tual blind side.



; var sc_security=""; var sc_invisible=1; var sc_click_stat=1; // ]]>