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Speaker 1:Hi, everybody. Thanks for joining Zoom with Yi. My name is Dr. Esther Yi, and I’m so glad that you’re here joining us today. We’re going to be talking about conflict, and I know that this can be a trying period, especially during COVID-19. I find that a lot of people are getting more impatient with one another during this time, whether it’s with your spouse, your partner, your roommates, your kids, maybe even at work because you’re working from home online. And so I’m hoping to provide you with more practical tools today that you can use right away. But also I want to use this time where you can ask any questions regarding conflict. So again, you can use that chat box to ask specific questions about conflict, and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to answer them for you and then also provide you with some tools.So today’s going to be a little bit different. I am looking for a little bit more interaction and maybe a little bit more less research than I typically do, because I find that conflict, a lot of people already have experience with conflict. You don’t need a lot of reasons from me as to why dealing with conflict is super important, probably because you are already feeling some type of emotional way about it. So the first thing that I’m having us do is just getting to know yourself. You don’t have to share with us, but I’m providing you guys some questions that you can ask yourself or maybe even ask your spouse to have ask you just so that you can get to know yourself and how you are with conflict.The second thing I want to talk about is The Four Horsemen, super, super famous. Dr. John Gottman, he wrote multiple books and has a school talking about how to deal with conflict well, but specifically in terms of with marriages. And so I want to go over The Four Horsemen for that. And then providing you again with some more practical tools and then a space to ask some questions.All right. So I posted this quote on Instagram this past week, and it says, “If you walk away from a conflict thinking you’ve won, your relationship just lost.” So the very beginning, the premise of us starting and talking about conflict, I want us to get into this head space that it’s not just a I focus, a me mentality, but you’re talking about the relationship. I don’t know what that relationship for you is. Maybe you’re married, maybe it’s your roommate, maybe it’s your family, but I want you to get into this mindset of we’re talking about a we here. We’re talking about a we.So you need to think what needs to happen for this relationship, not maybe for myself. Because when you feel like you’ve won, your relationship probably just lost. So whatever we’re talking about or doing to better the situation, we’re talking about the relationship. We want the relationship to win. So that’s the goal. You want the relationship to win. So as we move forward and we talk about conflict, I want you guys to have that in your mind and think about your role in this relationship and not just an individual focus.So let’s think for a second. When you hear the word conflict, what thoughts come to mind? So join with me in chat or you can unmute yourself, but when you think or when you hear the word conflict, what thoughts come to mind?
Speaker 2:Think about misunderstanding.
Speaker 1:Misunderstanding. Okay. Yep. Very true.
Speaker 2:Intentional and intentional hurt.
Speaker 1:Intentional hurt. Okay. Yeah, definitely. Misunderstanding, intentional hurt. How about for others? Let me make sure that I have my chat box open here for you guys, or I have somebody here helping me on the side who can maybe read them off if you post it on there. What are some words that come to mind when you think of the word conflict? Okay. Tension and anger, definitely. Lots of tension, lots of anger. I’m assuming not good tension. This person is sharing that they’ve noticed that maybe a certain ethnic group, like Asian Americans, tend to avoid rather than confront conflict. So maybe in their experience, they’ve seen a lot of avoidance happening, maybe taking a more passive stance when it comes to conflict. We’ve seen disagreements happen. I mean, I think that’s the premise of what a conflict is. And somebody also shared about feeling frustrated. Yeah, I don’t know too many people who are excited to jump into conflict. They’re upset at it. They’re frustrated at the situation.The reason why I want us to start by just thinking about the word conflict is because oftentimes I find that we have a lot of preconceived notions about what we think conflict is. And yes, conflict can be a disagreement between two people or maybe more than two people, but it also can be an opportunity for growth. It’s an opportunity where you are able to learn about yourself, learn about the other person, and you can actually grow in your relationship when you have conflict there. So conflict is not always a bad thing. You’re just learning, I think, that you two are different people. But we already knew that going into this, that no two people are identical. Even twins are not identical in that way. And so I want us to come from a place of understanding that conflict is a way that you can know yourself better, but also know the other person better, too. And then hopefully grow in your relationship through this conflict.And a question that I just asked at the bottom there is how is your body responding to conflict or the word conflict? Or when you think about somebody getting into a conflict or watching it or hearing about it and just thinking about how your body responds to it. Because sometimes I think we have to admit to ourselves that when we think about conflict, it creates anxiety for us and we want to avoid it at all cost. And so maybe we’re just trying to avoid it and not deal with it at all. So together, before we jump into this topic about conflict, I want us to just take a deep breath and come with me with a different perspective that it’s going to be okay and it’s a chance to be able to learn about one another.So let’s look into talking about what our family’s experience with conflict was, because I find that a lot of the times people tend to react to conflict the way that they saw it happen. So if your family experienced conflict in a certain type of way or communicated during a conflict a certain type of way, or acted a certain type of way during conflict, I find that people tend to mimic those because that’s what’s been modeled to them. Unless they’ve worked to change those habits, a lot of the times I find that when people are a certain way with a conflict, it’s because that’s the way they saw growing up. That’s the power of modeling within our family.So I want you to ask yourself, how did your family deal with conflict? I know that that’s a pretty personal question on a Friday night, but I want you to think about that. I want you to think about how did your family deal with conflict? And so I have some questions there listed below that will hopefully help you work through this question. So what do you remember seeing? Specifically what do you remember seeing? What do you remember hearing? Because I know sometimes our parents like to close the door and they think that you’re not listening because the door is closed and maybe you couldn’t see, but from your bedroom you could hear every conversation, every yell, every whisper that was happening through those doors.And then I want you to think, what role did you play before the conflict, during the conflict, and after the conflict? I find, especially children, they have such unique roles when it comes to conflict. Kids, and maybe you, you can tell before a conflict is about to take place. So you prepare yourself. You prepare yourself to walk on eggshells in front of somebody, because you know they’re mad. And maybe during it, you’re just trying to keep the peace. Maybe you’re just trying to avoid the conflict altogether. And then after it, maybe you’re the person that they come to to talk about things. Maybe you’re the one who created a lot of the conflict. Maybe you are the one that people are complaining about in your family. Do you have family members who do not speak with one another? Has conflict created divide within your family? Has conflict created brokenness where people are no longer talking to one another because of it?So I want you to consider with me what role has conflict played in your family and what are some of the results that have come because of it? And then another question to follow up with that is was there any physical violence? Emotional abuse? Were there any financial consequences? Unfortunately, I’ve seen this where if you don’t agree with whoever has money or whoever’s providing you with certain things and they pull the money. They pull that financial support from you. Were there any threats to you or to other people in your family? How about blackmail? Were there any lies about the conflict? Maybe your family pretended like everything was okay all the time. Secrecy. Did that spur on conflict? Favoritism? Maybe somebody was favored in your family, and so there was less conflict with them, and maybe you had a lot more conflict because you weren’t a favorite person in your family. So these are just some of the questions that I’m asking. How did your family deal with conflict?So this is an activity for you to do, to describe yourself. So first I want you to think of you. So I’m on the left-hand side and I want you to think what are you like in a conflict? Think about your voice. What is your voice like when you’re in a conflict? What is your tone like? You have that serious tone or the quiet tone and nobody can ever hear you? What’s your tone like? What’s your body language like? Do you get bigger as you get more involved in this conflict? Maybe you’re sitting down and now you find yourself, you’re standing up. I don’t know about you, but when you’re out and about, I have probably not seen conflict between two people where they’re just calmly sitting down. Usually you can tell from their body language that if they’re in a conflict at all. Maybe it’s two men standing and their body language are throwing fists at each other. That’s pretty clear that there’s some type of conflict that’s taking place there.What about your emotions? What is your emotions like during conflict? Are you a type of person who just gets super angry and frustrated? Or do you get anxious and then you find your brain shutting down and you’re like, “I don’t even know what to say to you because I’m so mad.” I know some people who sometimes are put on the spot and they’re like, “I have nothing to say,” but then when they think about it later, they’re like, “Ph, I could have said this. And why didn’t I say that?”Or are you a type of person who gives a lot of grace in a conflict or no grace or very little grace or a lot of grace? How about forgiveness? If somebody were to observe you in a conflict, would they describe you as somebody who forgives, maybe forgives easily? Or maybe you’re a type of person who forgives only when you get your way, when there’s an apology, when they look super sad and when they give you stuff, and what does that look like?And then I want you to think about the other person within this conflict. Now, I don’t want you to think about what they’re like in the conflict, but what I do want you to do is I want you to think about how would they describe you in a conflict? Ooh, because sometimes we like to think the best of us, and I think that can be a good thing, but not if it blinds us to seeing who we are realistically. So how might the other person in the conflict describe you? How might they describe your voice? How might they describe your tone? Have you ever talked to somebody and you’re like, “Hey, stop yelling.” They’re like, “I’m not yelling.” Sometimes people don’t even realize what they’re like in a conflict.I don’t know if I talked about listening skills, but would they describe you as somebody who listens well during a conflict or do they say a phrase like, “You’re not listening to me? Did you even hear me? Are you paying attention? Can you look at me while we’re talking? What are you doing?” So just thinking about these things, about what you are like versus what they think you are like. And the reason for this is I want you to focus on yourself, because in conflict, sometimes all we want to do is think about the other person and what they did wrong.And I’m not saying that the other person has no fault, but I am saying it takes two people for a relationship to work out well. And the only person that you can control is yourself and not them. You can only control yourself and what you do and your actions and your thinking. So think about what you want to be like in a conflict. We’re doing these things. We’re talking about these things. We’re practicing these things, because we know conflict is going to happen. So you’re preparing yourself to be better the next time a conflict happens.So some other ways that you might be like in a conflict. I have some people who in conflict, they just check out. They’re like, “I’m not here. I’m not even going to pretend to listen to you. I’m going to look at my phone. I’m going to look somewhere else. I’m going to look outside. I’m going to pull out a book. I’m going to email. I’m going to pretend I’m busy,” and they just check out. I know other people sometimes are just fighters. They fight in the conflict no matter what it is. And you’re like, “What happened? I don’t even remember it being this big of a deal. And you’re fighting me as if your life depended on it.” And then others who just run from conflict at all cost. They smell conflict, they smell tension and they’re like, “I’m out of here.” Maybe you know somebody in dating relationships where this takes place, where they’re noticing that they’re fighting more so they’re like, “I’m done. I’m just out. This relationship isn’t working for me.”Maybe a person doesn’t know how to work through conflict in a relationship. Now I want to be careful here, because I don’t want to make it sound like if you’re in some type of domestic violence relationship, that you should not take a break from it or not give yourself space from it. Because if there’s a safety issue involved, then a lot of these things are different in your situation. So maybe it’s not best if you live in the same home. Maybe it’s best that there is a lot of space. Maybe you’re staying with a different family member. Maybe you have a mediator that’s there that’s helping you work through this conflict.So I want you guys to take this with a grain of salt and to realize that there are multiple ways to deal with conflict because there’s multiple different types of conflicts that are taking place. And this is why I’m providing you with a lot of different tools, because maybe not one tool is effective for you, but maybe another one is. So consider that these are tools that you’re just kind of putting in your backpack and you just pull out the one that you think would work best for you and your situation.So I want to jump to The Four Horsemen. And this is by, again, John Gottman. In The Four Horsemen, it talks about four negative behaviors in a relationship. These are things that he has noticed in relationships that are just very broad, negative behaviors that he’s observed in thousands of relationships. So I want us to watch a super short video and I’m hoping that it will play. So I’m going to play it, and it is two minutes. Okay?
Speaker 3:You’re so selfish.
Speaker 4:What an idiot.
Speaker 3:It’s not my fault we’re always late.
Speaker 4:Forget it.
Speaker 5:Criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling. Dr. John Gottman calls these negative communication patterns the four horsemen of the apocalypse, because they’ll lead to the end of your relationship. In fact, he can predict this relationship failure with over 90% accuracy if the behavior isn’t changed. So what can you do? Well at The Gottman Institute, we understand you might not even know you’re communicating this way or you might not know how to control it, but if you practice the following four research based antidotes, there is hope for your future.Criticism attacks the character of the recipient instead of focusing on a specific behavior. The antidote to criticism is to talk about your feelings using I statements that express a positive need.Contempt is an expression of superiority that comes out as sarcasm, cynicism, name calling, eye rolling, sneering, mockery, and hostile humor. Contempt is the greatest predictor of relationship failure and must be eliminated. The antidote to contempt is to treat one another with respect and build a culture of appreciation within the relationship.Defensiveness is self-protection through righteous indignation or playing the victim. Defensiveness never solves the problem and is really just an underhanded way of blaming your partner. The antidote to defensiveness is to accept responsibility, even if only for part of the conflict.Stonewalling occurs when the listener withdraws from the conversation without resolving anything. It takes time for the negativity created by the first three horsemen to result in stonewalling, but when it does, it can become a habit. The antidote to stonewalling is to break for at least 20 minutes, calm down, then return to the conversation.Spare your relationship from certain destruction. Learn more about eliminating the four horsemen by visiting our site.
Speaker 1:All thanks guys for watching that with me.I want us to go and take a look a little bit deeper into the actual four horsemen of the apocalypse. So I want to help us go through this together. So the first one is criticism. Just like they said, this is when you attack a person on their character. So when the person who’s hearing the criticism, they feel rejected. They feel assaulted. They feel hurt. We find that when you get into this pattern of criticizing a person, usually the pattern escalates. So what does that mean? It typically it gets worse over time.The second one is contempt. This one is super interesting because they found in research that this tends to be the single greatest predictor of divorce. They find that in couples who got divorced, they observed contempt. Many of them, they found contempt. So before they get a divorce, this is a typical predictor for that. I mean, that’s a pretty big claim. So what is contempt? This is when you disrespect a person. What does that look like? It looks like sarcasm. It looks like name calling. It looks like eye rolling. It looks like when you mock them. It looks like when you’re using humor that is very inappropriate and you’re making fun of them. Basically you’re saying, “I despise you and you’re worthless.” Now, I know that seems harsh or it sounds very harsh, and maybe people don’t naturally say that or maybe they do. I don’t know. But I want you to think that there are a lot of things that you can do with your body language as well as just nonverbal communication that shows that you are doing this thing called contempt.The third one is defensiveness. This is typically in a response to criticism. So when somebody is criticizing you, a lot of the times, you’re trying to defend yourself. But when you’re defending yourself, you’re reversing the blame. So basically you’re saying it’s actually your fault. So, “Hey, I thought you were going to do the dishes.” “Oh, you know what? I was actually busy. And you were home all day. Why didn’t you do the dishes?” So maybe you’re implying like, “Actually, it’s your fault. You saw the dishes. Why are you talking to me about it? You should have just done them yourself,” instead of, “You’re right. You know what? I did say I was going to do this at dishes, and I didn’t get to them today. I’ll get to them right now.” Or, “I’m actually really exhausted. Would it be okay if I got to them tomorrow?”Stonewalling. This is usually a response to contempt. This is when a person totally just withdraws. They completely shut down and they just stop responding. Have you ever like, “Talk to me. Don’t walk away. What are you doing? Hello? Are you listening to me? Do you even care?” Right? This is maybe some of the things that a person might say to somebody who is stonewalling them. “I want to talk about it right now. You want to talk about it right now? It looks like you don’t even care. You’re not even paying attention.” Or maybe they just walk away completely. They leave the home. They leave the situation.I’m thinking that many of us have probably observed some of these things or you’re like, “Oh, crap, I’ve done some of these things.” And so let’s talk about what can you do differently?So instead of criticism, we call it the gentle startup. And this is again from John Gottman. So how do you do this? Use I statements. So try to avoid the word “you”, like, “You did this and you did that and you are a bad person and it’s your fault.” So let’s think about what can you say about yourself? So, “I’m feeling hurt. I’m feeling frustrated. What I need is for us to talk about getting the dishes done. What I need is to have a clean home.” We want to express our positive needs. What do you need? But we’re not blaming. We’re not playing the blame game here. It’s not about who’s at fault. When we’re talking about conflict, again, we’re talking about the relationship. We want the relationship to win. So there’s no point of blaming them, because is that going to help your relationship win? No, it’s going to help your pride win. Usually in a relationship that is growing and flourishing, there is no space for your pride. So let’s stop making space for our pride and let’s start making space for our relationship to win.Contempt. We want to be able to build a culture of appreciation. So think to yourself, “What are some positive qualities about my partner?” Now I know in the beginning, it’s going to seem lame and is this really going to help, but just work with me here because it does. We want to build a pattern of this, because in contempt we’re disrespecting them and we’re not respecting them as a person. We’re not seeing them as somebody who’s positive or is valuable. Maybe you’re nitpicking, and maybe all you see is all these flaws about them. So instead, let’s think about what are their positive qualities. There must be a reason why you got into this relationship with them in the first place. There must be a reason of why you value them in the first place. Let’s go back to some of those things.Find gratitude for their positive actions. “Thank you for doing the dishes. Thank you for bringing me a cup of coffee. Thank you for reminding me. Thank you for showing up. Thank you for turning off the lights.” I don’t know what it is, but thank them for the positive things, instead of, “Thank you, but you should also have done this, too. Thanks, but no thanks.” Nobody wants to hear that. That doesn’t help your relationship. Let’s think about the small things often. What are the small things that are happening? Because a relationship doesn’t just build from the big monumentous things that happen in our life. It’s usually the small day-to-day things.And John Gottman talks about this magic ratio of five positive interactions to one negative interaction, and what he encourages people to do is increase the amount of positive interactions. Do what you can to increase five positive interactions to one. They say that’s the magic ratio, right? Because we know negative interactions is going to take place, but what can you do to increase positive interactions? Maybe it’s going out for a walk, with a mask on, of course, because we’re at COVID-19. Maybe it’s playing a game together. Maybe it’s, for instance, our family is watching through the whole series of the Marvel series movies. It’s a lot of movies, but that’s something that we are integrating in our family life. We play board games on the weekends, especially Catan.So thinking to yourself what can you guys do to increase the positive interactions? Maybe you’re somebody who is super defensive, like, “I can’t even talk to you because you never take responsibility for whatever you’re doing,” and you’re like, “Oh, yes, that’s kind of me.” So what can you do instead? You can take responsibility. So hear them out. Accept their perspective and apologize for what you did wrong. And I want you to think about that, because has nothing to do with whether or not they apologize for what they did wrong. You start with yourself. The focus is on you. Just, “You’re right. I’m sorry for not listening,” or, “I’m sorry for using my phone while you were talking. It was rude.” That’s it. Maybe they’re rude, but you can only apologize for what you’ve done.Defensiveness, remember is the way that oftentimes we use to self-protect ourself. And this is a time where somebody might say, “I’m not the problem. You are.” So again, this is a reminder to take responsibility for what you’ve done.Stonewalling. One of the best ways to help with stonewalling, because maybe you’re completely shutting down and you’re like, “I’ve got to walk away.” We find physiological self-soothing. So we say, “Hey.” If you’re stonewalling and you know that this is you, take a break. John Gottman, he says take a 20-minute break. Why? Because when you are heated and you’re mad and your body is responding in a certain type of way, you need 20, 30 minutes for your body to relax again. You need 20 to 30 minutes for your body to relax again.What does that mean? It doesn’t mean I’m walking away from the relationship or the conversation. It’s, “Can we take a break and come back at,” and then give them a specific time we’re coming back at. Be specific. “Let’s come back at 10:00 here on the couch,” and hopefully you’ve both been able to calm down, take a deep breath. You can spend time doing something that is soothing to you. Don’t do something that’s going to increase your frustration. So this isn’t the time to be venting. This isn’t the time to be posting on social media how mad you are about them. This isn’t the time to be talking crap about them, because that’s not going to help self-soothe you.Or maybe in the moment you’re like, “I need to distract myself. If I keep thinking about it, I’m just going to get more angry.” So what do you do to distract yourself? I find that changing scenery oftentimes helps people a lot. COVID-19, being stuck at the same place in your home all the time is probably super frustrating for anybody. So go outside, take a deep breath, go sit in your car. It’s new. Blast music. We find that music can be super calming to a person. Think about yourself. What do you like, and how does that self-sooth you?So let’s jump into some more practical tools that we can use. So I want us to talk about this concept of forgiveness, because I find that this is a very practical thing to do when you’re in conflict or when you’ve just finished a type of conflict, or maybe you’re right before a conflict or right in the middle of a conflict and you think about, “I don’t want to forgive them.”And the question that I oftentimes receive is, “Is forgiveness the same thing as forgetting it?” And I want to ask you the question is that possible? Is it physically possible for you to forget a conflict? Maybe. Maybe so much time has passed and you’re like, “I don’t remember what we fought about.” That’s possible. Maybe the conflict wasn’t that big of a deal to you, so you’re like, “I don’t even know why we got into fight. I just know that we got into a fight.” But other times when a conflict is so great and it was so painful and we were so angry about it, it may not be possible to forget it unless you get some type of brain disorder. So let’s be realistic. You don’t have to forget in order to forgive.And then I want to ask you, are you replaying the conflict over and over and does that get you super mad and that you can’t forget about it? Are you venting to every single person around you who’s willing to listen? And that you’re so angry, so again, it’s hard to keep moving forward and move past something like this. I want you to think about your feelings, because again, when it comes to forgiveness, you may never feel ready to forgive, because forgiveness is a choice. It seems like we have to be in a place where we’re ready to forgive. No, you just choose to forgive. You’re going to do it or you’re not going to do it. It’s a choice that you have to make. And that does not mean it’s without pain. That doesn’t mean it’s not going to hurt to forgive them, because you’re still frustrated and you’re upset. But you know in the deepest part of you it’s the right thing to do.Does forgiving somebody mean that you let them walk all over you and that you give them your trust again? No, it does not. Forgiving them is not the same thing as building trust. You can forgive them for what they did, but maybe you still have a hard time trusting them. That’s normal. It will take time to build trust. And also, it’s okay to place boundaries. You may forgive them, but it also means you’ve got to protect your heart. So what are you going to do? Maybe you’re not going to rely on them. You building trust over time, that has to do with your future relationship with them. Forgiveness is in the moment. “Right now I’m going to forgive you.” Building trust is, “Hey, this is for our future relationship. We’re going to continue to build trust, to grow stronger.”Let me see. I think I saw something on my chat here. Okay. So the question is, “You may never feel ready to forgive. How do you make that choice to forgive, and how is that possible?” I’m hoping with the next slide that this might help answer that question, but if it doesn’t, message me again.So some ways to deal with forgiveness. How do you forgive somebody when they’re like, “I didn’t do anything wrong”? How frustrating, and let’s be real, that’s kind of annoying, right? The first thing I want you to do, and this comes directly from the Bible, is do not repay evil for evil. In other words, let’s not stoop down to their level. You don’t want to be like them. It’s not good for you. It’s not good for your heart. Instead, treat them better than they deserve. What does that mean? Bless them. Ooh, nobody wants to do that. You just do it. It’s a choice that you make. It’s kind of like I don’t know too many people who like to deep clean their toilets, but you know it needs to be done, so you just do it.What if you have somebody who genuinely says that they’re sorry? So they come to you and they’re like, “Hey, I’m really sorry for hurting your feelings. I did not mean to say that about you. And this is really what I meant.” And so they are genuinely sorry. You want to fully forgive them, and do it quickly. When somebody says sorry, then you forgive them. You don’t have to be happy about everything. You just choose to forgive them. Forgiveness can be an ongoing process. It’s typically not a one-time thing. Maybe you have to keep forgiving them because you find that maybe anger continues to creep up.The third thing I want you guys to think about is the question that I get is, “Don’t they have to know that I’m mad at them, and shouldn’t they know that I’m forgiving them?” And the question that I want to ask you is that is that a requirement for you to forgive them? What if that person doesn’t even know that you’re super angry at them? What if the person that you’re angry at isn’t even alive anymore? I’ve seen that happen where I’ve heard people are like, “I am so mad at my dad, but he’s dead.” So how are you mad at a person who’s not even alive? It’s like you can. Forgiveness is not for them. It’s for you.And with that, I want you to think about attention seeking behavior, because I know that this is not what a lot of people want to hear, but are you trying to forgive them so that it makes you look good? Because it sometimes does happen that way. Like, “Oh, I’m such a good person. I forgave them, and I’m amazing. I’m so kind.” But let’s not put the attention on ourselves in that way. Let’s not make it all about us. We’re talking about a relationship here.A part of forgiveness is enduring. When you endure something, sometimes that means you put up with something. Endurance looks like longsuffering. It requires patience. Your feelings don’t just disappear. You endure them, and they will pass. But until they pass, you endure it. You work through the difficulties. You work through the frustrations and the anger, because they don’t just go away. I think it’s important to acknowledge all of your feelings and your thoughts, but you work through them. This is how you forgive somebody actively. Does that help the person who asked me that question?So the question that this person is asking is that so maybe some of these things when it comes to forgiveness you’re like, “Yeah, you know what? It sounds great for very minor things. But what about things that are super big scale when it comes to when somebody’s abused you or somebody has neglected you?” I would say do the same thing. Now, obviously with that, your feelings and your thoughts are they’re magnified because of what’s happened to you. And so I would say give yourself some space to figure out how it’s impacted you as a person and give your space to be angry.Sometimes, I mean, how do you forgive somebody if you don’t even acknowledge the fact that something was done to you that was wrong? Forgiving them does not mean the same thing as having a good relationship with them. And I don’t mean this in a way where I’m saying every time somebody has wronged you, don’t be in a good relationship with them, but sometimes it’s just not possible. For instance, if it’s somebody that’s an abuser and you just feel unsafe around them, you can still forgive them and also know at the same time, “Hey, I just can’t be around them because I don’t feel safe.” That’s okay. You need to work through your own stuff. But maybe that looks like what if they never changed? What if they continue to be somebody who is abusing other people? They’re an angry person. They’re physical. You don’t have to be around that person, and you don’t have to put yourself in situations like that. And it’s totally okay to put some space and distance. They’re not safe.I would say similar thing to neglect. You can forgive them for some of these things and say, “Hey, I forgive you. I’m still angry, but I forgive you. I’m not going to repay back evil for evil. I’m not going to make your life miserable. I’m not going to do things to harm you on purpose.” But one of the ways maybe that you’re treating them better than you should is you just wish them well, whatever that looks like in their life. Maybe you see them and you don’t attack them. I don’t know. Maybe they deserve to be attacked. I don’t know. I don’t know what your situation is. And so think about what that means to you, because I feel like every relationship is different.It’s okay to take some time and space to explore and figure out how the trauma has impacted you as a person, because believe me, it probably did. If you grew up in a home where there’s a lot of fighting that happened, I bet you that that’s impacted you as a person. For anybody, it would impact anybody, whether we want to admit it or not. So think to yourself, maybe you’re not in a place to address some of these things, but you can still forgive them. That part of your life is an ongoing thing of you discovering who you are and how this affects you as a person. So I would say give yourself some time and space, but be active in that pursuit.Keep asking me questions if you want to know more. Some things I want you to do when it comes to dealing with conflict, let’s strategically plan. One of the questions that I like to ask, especially when there’s a lot of conflict between a couple or a family member or a friendship, I ask them what would your life look like without this conflict? Because I want to provide a sense of hope. There can be a day, guys, where your life does not involve this type of conflict. There’s hope in there. It’s not enough for me to just say, “Deal with conflict well.” Let’s aim towards there’s hope.Think about who can you talk to when you are in conflict. Who’s your go-to person? And think about a go-to person who doesn’t fuel the flame. Because sometimes people like drama and they just want to know and they want to get you riled up and they want to get you even more angry. But I want to say maybe that person’s not the best for you when it comes to dealing with conflict. Maybe they’re great at other things. Consider what do you need to successfully work through when it comes to this conflict? Everybody comes in with baggage when it comes to relationships. What’s your baggage? What do you need to do to work through it so that you can be successful when it comes to this conflict? Maybe it’s your mentality, like, “Conflict is bad.” It’s not bad. It’s a learning opportunity. Maybe that’s something that you need to work through.What do you need to successfully work through the conflict? Maybe you need space. Maybe you need peace. Maybe you need to have a conversation where nobody else is around you and it’s just you two. Think about what are your needs when it comes to a conflict, and then think about what can you do to get there? One of the first things that comes to mind is communicate your needs. “I need a quiet space. I need for us to …” There might be certain rules. For instance, I’ve heard a lot of rules where people say, “Hey, no cussing, and let’s not raise our voice, and let’s sit down the whole time.” You know one of the things that I tell people when they’re fighting? Lay down. For whatever reason, the physiological act of laying completely down on your back seems to help people relax, and it’s harder to fight when you’re laying down. So practice laying down.Another thing that I tell people to do is whisper. Whisper in your conflicts. Because usually it’s the opposite problem that happens. People are yelling and screaming. So until you can figure out how to talk in a normal voice, we’re going to whisper in our conflict. We’re going to whisper talking about the stuff that’s hard to talk about in our relationship.And then I want you to process the conflict. Because it’s a growing opportunity, so let’s think about those things. So what were you like? Describe yourself. Think about the I statement that you can say to the person. What is it that you need? I want you to think about what did you do well? How can you do better? And then how can you know? Because one of the things is ask them like, “Hey, we just had this disagreement. Can you tell me what are some things that I can work on to do better?”Wow. That takes a humble person. Because let me tell you, in a disagreement or in a conflict, that’s not what you want to do. If anything, you want to start blaming like, “Well, you did this and you were awful at this.” But I’m asking you to ask them what can you do to be better? Because if you truly want to work through conflict well, you are going to think about, well, how did your actions impact the other person? Because what’s the goal? The goal is not you to feel better about yourself. The goal is for the relationship to work out. That’s the goal. So think how can we get there together?And then think about, well, how will the relationship benefit? How will the relationship benefit if nobody cusses at each other? How will the relationship benefit if you guys stop blaming each other, stop criticizing each other, stop stonewalling, stop rolling your eyes, making fun of each other? How will the relationship benefit? Because I want to put an angle of hope in there of all the ways that relationship can flourish. Because tell me not, there are times where you look at other relationships and you’re like, “Wow, that’s amazing. How did you guys get there?” I’m pretty sure they work through conflict. If it’s too good to be true, it’s probably too good to be true. So think for yourself the purpose of the conflict and how you can process it and work through some of these things.So again, thank you so much for joining me tonight so that we could talk about conflict. If you have any questions regarding conflict or want to address certain things, feel free to chat me there, or you can unmute yourself and ask some questions. I’ll leave some time for people to do that. But if not, I can wrap it up for tonight. And then I just leave a little bit of my contact information. Sorry, it’s my dog. That’s my email address there. That’s the counseling agency that I’m at. And then if you’re looking for updates on what the next topic is going to be, it’s on Instagram at para.Kaleo.All right. So for those that are online, thanks for joining us. I’m going to go ahead and stop the recording just in case somebody wants to ask me some more personal questions when it comes to conflict. So thank you guys, and I’ll see you again next week.
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