“All war is a symptom of man’s failure as a thinking animal,” John Steinbeck eloquently described. When it comes to conflict, we as men have a tendency to go one of two routes, as a result of our regression into the hands of our fight or flight response. We see conflict as a threat, not only to our survival, but to our ability to survive, which is a direct representation of our masculinity. In response, we either fight, turning to our evolutionary aggression, or we take flight, which is really choosing to fight in a different fashion. We either dive into conflict, not necessarily for resolution, or we run away from or avoid conflict entirely, which also doesn’t bring us to resolution.
Dealing with conflict isn’t always pleasant, but it is oftentimes necessary. Here, we will discuss conflict, how to avoid toxic conflict, how not to avoid all conflict, and why dealing with conflict is easier in recovery.
High Conflict People
A high conflict person has a high conflict personality, which means they are generally a volatile individual who has little regulatory control over their emotions and emotional responses. Everything is a matter of extremism, everyone is either good or bad, and everywhere they go ends up being a scene of drama. Recovery teaches us how to how love and tolerance for even the most difficult of people. Recovery also teaches us how to have healthy boundaries which keep us at a safe distance in relationships with those people.
There are some situations in life which have unending conflict. Typically, this means something about the situation is completely out of alignment with the natural flow of life and something else is preventing it from getting back into the flow- usually a person. If a situation persists in its conflict and becomes toxic, it is best to walk away. You don’t have a solution and neither does anyone else. Sometimes, giving a conflict space is the best way to resolve it.
Don’t Avoid Conflict
Avoiding conflict all together isn’t the best way to go about handling conflict. Conflict causes stress and stress can be overwhelming for men in the early stages of recovery, triggering a desire to back out of the stressful situation entirely. Unfortunately, that isn’t a life skill which has any longevity. Facing conflict head on is necessary for building strength, confidence, esteem, and necessary social skills.
Men are finding freedom from addiction by building a lifestyle of sobriety founded on sustainable recovery created by sustainable change. Inspired by the adventure of living in the Pacific Northwest and the proven efficacy of innovative treatment, our men’s programs are transforming lives inside and out. For information, call us today: (503) 850-2474