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There's a myth around conflict, that it's bad. This is because the idea of having to engage with someone who believes in and represents something different than what you are inspires fear. We have a fearful aversion to having to tussle with someone to define our boundaries.

This myth is unhealthy for the world. It implies that strong differences in thought need to be suppressed, modified, not expressed if they run counter to current belief, in order not to upset others. But conflict is not only inevitable, it's necessary. It is the key ingredient to true progress in all relationships. No relationship, no interaction with another can be devoid of conflict. And it is crucial in any relationship to expect conflict and to figure out if and how one wishes to resolve it.

Different relationships require different conflict resolution. Conflict resolution can span human civility to frank brutality as seen in the animal kingdom. And while we may think we are elevated forms, much of our conflict still retains a brutal aspect - especially when conflict revolves around power. But it’s key in the relationships we want to have succeed, to try to navigate conflict better. This doesn’t mean not arguing or fighting; this doesn’t mean not getting angry or upset. But it does mean continuing to attempt to find mutual understanding through compassion and love.

Conflict is one of the most important tools in a relationship. It is a true gauge of the sustainability of an interaction because it is itself the act of rebalancing imbalances. Instead of fretting about engaging in conflict with others, we should practice how to be as accurate as possible with defining our authenticity in every moment, shared or not.


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