The Bigger Picture


From the Daily Post:

How do you handle conflict? Boldly and directly? Or, do you prefer a more subtle approach?


I’ve never been much for direct conflict. I’m not really passive-aggressive, I just like to avoid yelling matches. That being said, I’m also not one to let tension drag out without resolution, because that’s just really annoying. Who likes to walk on eggshells for weeks on end?

Personally, I try to keep things calm so that conflict doesn’t arise. Anger is a powerful emotion, and I don’t want it unleashing near me if I can help it. Over time, with much deep breathing, mistake-making, and reluctant self-control, I’ve learned to try dispelling tension before any threat of conflict. It’s definitely not always easy, especially when you’re up against someone who just has it out for you (and that’s happened before…not fun!). But if I see that the waters are starting to get choppy, I sit back and try to think of the best way to calm the imminent explosion.

How do I do that? Well, simply put, I choose to lose. If someone comes at me with the intent to start conflict, I suck in my pride – which is SO hard sometimes – and choose not to be aggravated. I give the other person the “win”, and just try to stay calm and peaceful within myself. Now, this wouldn’t work as well if the conflict were somehow to directly influence my well-being. If someone were trying to hurt me, for example, I’d take a much more defensive approach…and probably get the hell out of there as soon as possible. But most conflict, honestly, arises from REALLY petty problems. People lash out at each other over the stupidest things, and it’s just a waste of energy. I would know – I’ve been there many times! But by staying kind and peaceful as much as possible, I find that it’s easier to break the cycle of hurt and keep those vibes positive.

I’ve also found that it’s easier to stay calm when I look at the circumstances surrounding the potential conflict, instead of focusing in on me vs. them. You never know what’s causing a person to lash out; people misplace their emotions all the time. That person could be going through something really tough, with no healthy outlet. Allowing them to vent their anger might be just the thing they need, even if it is unfair to you. When I look at the bigger picture, I can stay calm a lot more easily and let kindness lead the way.



About claireaudient

North Carolina girl, born and raised, though now I consider Vermont to be home as well. I guess you could say I'm a migrant gypsy farmer, if you were prone to saying such things. I've played the whole society game; I've been to three different colleges, have an Associate's Degree (in Liberal Studies, or something like that), and have worked more restaurant jobs than I care to admit. Through a curious series of events, however, I've formed a different perspective on what life means to me. Instead of slaving away at a job I hate to eke out a mediocre life staring at a shiny screen, I'm living out my dream to travel while learning organic farming and sustainability practices. It's not always easy, but leaving the comforts of routine to experience the wonders of the universe was a choice I will never regret. <3

4 responses »

  1. I don’t like conflict as well. I try to be more assertive, but I avoid arguments whenever possible.
    Deep breathing works in all situations; long lines, aggressive people, and the list goes on.

    So I understand perfectly what you mean.

    • very true! There comes a point where you need to stand up for yourself, but going into conflict with a me vs. you mentality usually doesn’t turn out too well…at least for me! thanks for reading :)

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