My goal as an author and speaker is to encourage you to move closer to Jesus. Whether it is to read the Word for the first time or plan a mission trip to India, I want to be that friend who cheers you on. I want to help you get the tools to take the next step of faith no matter how big or small it may seem. With God we can accomplish the impossible.
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Spring Cleaning – Courage to Clear the Air in Conflict
April 9, 2021
I am so inspired by all the house cleaning tips that come up on my Pinterest feed these days. I LOVE life hacks about how to clean more efficiently, mostly because they give me more time to do the things I really enjoy! In honor of all of us who love a good spring clean, I wanted to share a post about how cleaning out our conflict closets can give us that same “Wow, it is done”, kind of freedom.
Lingering or unresolved conflicts are nasty, sneaky little things. They sit in our subconscious even when we pretend on the outside, that everything is all good. If we haven’t addressed the root of the conflict and resolved it, those bad vibes cast an uncomfortable shadow over our subsequent experiences with that person. I don’t know about you, but I want to consistently clean out my conflict closet and have the freedom to be me…no more pretending I’m “FINE.”
Cleaning out the conflict is hard work and it requires a lot of courage, especially because oftentimes we have swept the conflict under the proverbial rug. So why should we go through the effort?
We want to have stronger relationships – letting disagreements linger leads to stagnation in the relationship, or sets us up for an even bigger blowout in the future. Being honest and working through the conflict helps us build a better understanding of each other, and creates a healthier pattern for future scenarios. In other words, you will fight less, and you might even begin fighting for each other!
We want to feel better – harboring resentment only hurts the HARBORER. The person that we have the issue with probably has no idea, to be honest. When we tell the truth, and clear the air we release ourselves from holding on to those negative feelings.
Creates an opportunity for perspective change – many times when we find ourselves in conflict it is because we have a different experience or perspective about the same situation. When we dive into resolving a conflict it gives us an opportunity to be changed or to change the perspective of the other person in a positive way. We open the conversation to get both sides of the story.
You may be thinking, that too much time has passed and you could not possibly bring up the situation. I want to challenge that thought, because if you are still bothered by the situation then it isn’t over. If you want freedom, then you have to be bold enough to clear the air. Here are a few ideas to open up the conversation.
Tips to clear the air in conflict:
Bring up the situation casually in conversation. For example you might say something like, “Thank you so much for inviting me to this brunch, I feel like it has been awhile since we have seen each other.” Meanwhile, you know exactly why you haven’t been around but they may not. “Last time we were together you said something that really hurt my feelings. I am sorry I haven’t addressed it until now, and we don’t have to get into it now, but I’d love to talk about it sometime. I don’t want there to be any hurt feelings between us.”
Send a letter – sometimes we struggle with face to face conflict because our words get muddled, or the person interrupts us so writing down what you want to say can help. The only thing about a letter is that you should end the note by asking for a confirmation that they got the letter. This helps to get closure.
Tell a joke – I know it seems weird to open up a serious conflict with a joke, but it can help to disarm the other person. If you are bad at telling jokes, find a funny video or comedian online that you can show before you launch into the tough conversation. It works really well to then open by saying, “All kidding aside, I really did want to chat about something that has been bothering me.”
Clearing the air in conflict, and cleaning out the closets takes effort. Just like having a clean house takes work, so does building up the courage to face that friend, spouse, or colleague that hurt you. Don’t let those dirty old resentments clutter your mind. Be bold, be brave, and get out your conflict clearing broom…they need to go!
I’d love to hear what you might be struggling with in your life. Please leave them in the comments below, and Happy Spring Cleaning!