What’s your relationship with conflict?
I identify as conflict avoidant: I don’t particularly enjoy addressing conflict because it can be scary and complex—and learning NVC has helped me begin to learn the skills I need to be able to talk about and bring up topics that can be hard or scary.
This fortnight’s newsletter contains a collection of resources related to conflict. I hope this helps you—and if you have any. feedback on this (or other topics you’d like to read about in future editions), I’d love to hear from you.
1. Three quotes on conflict
Peace is not the absence of conflict but the ability to cope with it.
~ Jason Digges
Conflict is really what sharpens our ability to Love.
~ John Gottman
It is a sign of cognitive strength to be able to hold seemingly contradictory facts in one’s mind at the same time. It is a sign of emotional strength to hold both sides of a disagreement with a loved one as valuable. And it is a sign of personal mastery to be able to stretch our minds and hearts to hold multiple perspectives in the face of conflict.
~ Jason Digges
2. What’s your point of view?
A reminder that what we see depends on our viewpoint—and it’s not always the whole picture, and that hold especially true in conflict!
3. How to calm our unpleasant feelings
Conflict can often bring up stress, fear or anger—and addressing conflict is partly about managing these unpleasant feelings before and during the conversation.
The monks and nuns at Plum Village have put together some suggestions from their own practice: on recognizing and calming their unpleasant feelings as they arise. Read the article here.
4. Video: Preparing for a difficult conversation
Have you heard of the Zero Step?
The Zero Step—which comes before we initiate the conversation with the person we’re in conflict with—helps us connect with our intention and brings your attention back to the present.
Watch this recording from a webinar hosted by NVC Connect to learn more about the Zero Step, and follow the guide.
5. Upcoming event: Restoring togetherness
Miki Kashtan offers a new course on Needs Choreography this December. The course is being offered on sliding scale, so you can choose to offer what you can. Here’s a brief note about the course. Click here to know more or sign up.
“There are no individual solutions to systemic collapse. A future for humanity means reweaving our frayed threads of togetherness into a fabric that is stronger than we could ever be in our individualized existence. Especially when our collective capacity for doing so is at its lowest ever given our atrophied collaboration muscles.
If we are to pull through this, some of us will be called to take on what Miki calls “needs choreography” – the capacity to weave together everyone’s needs so that more and more of us experience what it’s like to come together to attend to everyone’s needs, even in challenging moments.
This course is designed to be an intensive introduction for those who want to learn how to do this transformative art form and support families, communities, organizations, and even divided stakeholders to realign with life.”