Last week I talked about the crazy conflict cycle. I described how judgment produces resistance and justification in the other person, and that justification gives rise to judgment in return. This week I want to talk about how to get out of the crazy conflict cycle.
Often we get into the cycle because we have past emotional wounds. Subconsciously, we are fighting for survival, and we are no longer in this moment, but in one that happened possibly years ago.
Getting out of this cycle has two parts to it. Both parts are a practice over time. So don’t beat yourself up over not getting it right immediately.
In the Moment
The first part is what to do in the heat of conflict. The first step here is to recognized that you are not reacting to them. It seems like it’s the other person causing this, but it’s not. If you are both going at it, what is probably going on is that each of you are reacting to something inside yourselves. When they are emotionally charged, it’s not you, it’s them. And when you are emotionally changed, it’s not them, it’s you.
So the first step is to stop blaming the other person. Then identify the lie that you are believing in that moment. What are you afraid is true? Are you afraid that they don’t care about you, or that this means that you are insignificant and you don’t matter, or that they will abandon you, or whatever your version of this is?
Next, identify the higher truth. What is really true in that moment? When I’m stuck in the cycle and I become aware of it, I remind myself that I am loved and valued by God. I do matter even when I am not functioning at my best. And I am here to be love to other people.
The second part of getting out of the cycle is about reducing how often we jump in the cycle. This is a practice of rewiring or rejiggering your thought patterns. Spend regular deliberate time identifying the wounds and the lies about yourself you have came to believe – in times of non-conflict. Perhaps the wound isn’t from a single event, but from a series of moments over time. Either way, connect with the higher truths and work to have your inmost being know and believe these truths.
Our need for love, self worth, acceptance, and approval, must come from God and from within. When we try to get these things come from other people, it’s never enough. Whenever other people meet these needs, it satisfies for a while, but then you need more. The real answer is a God thing and an inside Job.
When was the last time you were able to shift out of the crazy conflict cycle? What got you out of it?