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How to deal with conflict is an internal job. If you can change how you perceive a situation of conflict, you can also change your reaction to it. How to deal with conflict then becomes clear.
Your state of consciousness is the source of how you deal with conflict. In other words your reaction to conflict dictates how you deal with it. If you are one with the present moment, you will do what is needed without getting any more upset than is necessary. You will create no unnecessary problems or drama for yourself or anyone else.
Conflict is only conflict when you perceive it this way.
People usually argue because they have ego in them. The ego identifies with a mental position or conceptual identity, and when this is threatened, the entire false sense of self becomes threatened. If this mental position or concept is destroyed, so is part of the egoic self - and this is what it fears most...
...that is where anger and negative emotions arise from during arguments - they are usually egoic defence mechanisms.
You may have noticed by now that once the discussion escalates into an argument, both (or all) parties become taken over by emotion and egoic defensiveness, and get nowhere.
Less progress is made the more the argument strengthens. People lose their sense of logic or reasoning because they feel their sense of selves are on the line - which they see as more important than actually resolving a situation.
Sometimes arguments are completely pointless. There may be nothing that even needs to be done or resolved. The argument is just about an idea or concept.
Other times they arise due to someone's actions or behaviour that another person/s reacts negatively to.
Dealing With Arguments
So, how do you actually deal with them? Use arguments as spiritual practice - use them to dissolve your ego through becoming aware of what your ego does during an argument.
Let the other person be. Watch them tie themselves up in a knot of anger and confusion. You can say what you need to, but you do not have to argue. You can accept that everyone has their own brain and is entitled to their own point of view - but you do not have to resist or react negatively.
When you are in this non resistive state you do not harbour any negativity, and you can see things more clearly. If you need to take any action or say anything, it flows from a peaceful place within you.
Being able to see the difference between someone's egoic behaviour and who they actually are can help you to stay at peace.
Conflict implies two things going against each other. If you remain at peace while another argues, then how can this be conflict?
You may notice feelings of anger, fear, defensiveness or even rage arising in you during an argument - this is a chance to bring in conscious presence, to free yourself from the shackles of your own egoic reactions.
What you are fearful or defensive of is likely based on concepts - your imagination.
Observe the reactions and emotions in yourself as if you are the space in which they arise. Notice how they arise all by themselves. This breaks identification with them and increases your level of consciousness. Acceptance of emotions dissolves them into your own inner peace. Through this you become more in touch with what you really are.
If you get criticised or verbally abused - you may feel an uncomfortable feeling inside you - almost like part of you is dying. This is the ego. Do absolutely nothing, and feel your inner body. Let the feeling be. Then suddenly you become aware of this spacious stillness pervading your being. Your true nature shines through the gap that your ego left when it got destroyed. By becoming less on the level of form (or ego), you become more on the level of formless awareness - what you are.
Let your ego take a bashing and realise what is still there even after your form identity or conceptual identity has been destroyed - you are still there, but free of thought forms. The awareness that you are can not be harmed.
Egos love arguments because it makes them feel more alive and separate from other people. If you resist an argument, you strengthen it. So just let it be and see how your mind tries to trick you into labelling the situation as bad or feeling any defensiveness or negativity - it is all an illusion.
Someone is just speaking (or shouting) - they are just noises coming out of someone's mouth, yet something inside you likes to react to all of this and take it all personally. See how funny this all is as it takes place inside you. Do not take your reactions (or anyone else's reactions) so seriously.
Practice defencelessness, particularly on the conceptual level. If people criticise, verbally attack or argue against you - know that you have nothing to defend - you can not be harmed. This takes you to the truth of what you are.
From this state you become free of other people's drama - and situations of conflict become far easier to deal with - whether they are physical or not.
Do Not Suppress!
There is a difference between suppressing and accepting your emotions during conflict. If you suppress your emotions by thinking you should not be feeling them or in any way resisting them, this just makes your pain worse. Do not confuse this suppression of emotion with complete acceptance.
If there is no peace, this means there is no acceptance. When you accept your feelings, you stop trying to change them or force them away. If you are suppressing them, you are still identified with the emotions and there is no sense of spaciousness or acceptance.
Of course you can always express the negative emotions if you wish, this is much better than leaving unresolved negativity within you.
Conflict Is In Your Reaction
Conflict may feel uncomfortable only if you interpret the situation in this way. Notice any feelings of unease arising within you, and transmute them in to peace through acceptance of their existence.
The ego does not know how to deal with conflict. It believes the only way to deal with conflict is through resistance.
It is your resistance to and reaction to "conflict" that makes it seem uncomfortable or undesirable, and tends to just make the situation worse. Separate the situation from your reaction to it or thoughts about it.
When you accept the situation as it is, you become one with it. This includes accepting any negative reactions within you. You then do not have to think about how to deal with conflict - action either arises or does not arise by itself.
Conflict is just a perception of reality, rather than the reality itself.
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