Conflict

Whenever I think of conflict, I generally go back to that amazing Monty Python sketch, “Argument Clinic” where Michael Palin (in a fabulous 70’s outfit) walks into a room and asks “Is this the room for an argument”, and John Cleese replies “Well I’ve already told you once…” But, as discussed in my past posts, we’re always trying to be more culturally relevant to our congregation and our peers, so here’s a clip from Friends instead…

In the clip from Friends, Joey has moved out of Chandler’s apartment, so Chandler has got a new roommate. This has caused obvious tension, as they have such a long history together and at the end of the day, are missing each other’s company terribly. But is something that neither of them want to tackle. The empty juice carton is the catalyst for their angst, but still neither one is willing to take the matter head on…digressing from juice to eggs, from eggs to chickens.

Heat rising

Don’t you find it’s often that way, the smallest thing can trigger long supressed anger and feelings, often leaving the other party confused and wondering where it came from? And of course it makes no sense…because usually the trigger is nothing to do with what caused the conflict in the first place! As they say, never go to bed on an argument…or even better, don’t have an argument in the first place.

I know of many friends that just shy away from conflict. At the first sign of any sort of argument flaring up, or even the slightest disagreement, they will back off, shy away or compromise, just to deflect from any potential conflict. And at the same time I know (fortunately far fewer) people that just seem incredibly able of inciting conflict at a moments notice, in fact they almost go out of their way to be disagreeable and will not back down, no matter what the cost.

Is it just me?

I think most of us can identify with either personality, and it seems to me that there are a very few that tread the middle ground, not wanting to cause an argument, but at the same time standing up for their principles and returning a balance, healthy and wise argument. The longer that things remain unsaid, the more they fester, until when it finally bubbles to the surface it erupts, literally blowing out of proportion whatever the issue was in the first place. Now I’m no counsellor, and don’t want to offer relationship advice or the like…but I know that Mrs K and I generally talk over most stuff…no matter how awkward. And there are some topics that will always cause more “discussion” than others…money for example. But we still have the conversation, and have it early before it grows into something bigger than it was.

Being open, honest and up front is a great way of avoiding conflict, and at the same time putting your hands up and saying “sorry, I was wrong” is also a great sentence to diffuse a situation. Neither response may solve the issues, but they will allow you to move on with the conversation without resorting to an argument.

And now, for something completely different…

For those of a certain age, and as a half term treat….here’s the Monty Python sketch in full… Now I’ve told you once….

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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