Is it more important to you to be right or to keep peace when you are in a conflict? When you choose to keep peace, does it really make you peaceful, or is that “peace” only on the surface and deep inside you are really boiling with anger? Is being right always wrong and you should keep peace just to keep everyone else happy but yourself? Is striving to prove yourself being right always selfish? Are you afraid of arguments? Does your attitude change depending on who you are having an argument with?
To me, it has always been more important to keep peace. I let a lot of offenses slide just to stay out of unnecessary drama, unless it’s my husband. A lot of times I feel like it’s easier to not argue because I know the other person would never admit their wrong and it will turn into something even more serious. Sometimes I just don’t feel mature enough to handle a difficult conflict without being flustered and pointing fingers. Resolving conflict is a skill that I yet have to master. How am I going to master it though if I never practice?
Keeping peace on the surface doesn’t mean you feel peaceful inside. It does not mean that there is no internal dialogue going on where I “slash” my opponent with the sword of wisdom, when in reality I’m nervous to even open my mouth and not find the right words; so I keep quiet. Now, with my husband it’s a different story. I know how he will react. I know we are not going to go separate ways after a fight. I know it’s going to be okay. I know what to expect. Other people can be unpredictable, and keeping quiet sometimes is better if I want to protect myself emotionally.
Letting someone off the hook here and there is okay because no one is perfect and we all can have emotional outbursts and may offend someone without even thinking twice about it. If the other person doesn’t let us know we were wrong, how are we ever going to find out? What if we keep acting the same way thinking it’s okay, but the other person just collects it all inside and pretends it’s all good. Is he or she going to blow up one day and shock us with some strong emotions that we never even thought he or she had?
In my opinion, keeping it all inside is not always good. If it’s a one-time offense, maybe it’s okay and I give that person benefit of a doubt, but if he or she continues knowingly or unknowingly hurting me, I know for a fact that I will start feeling resentful and it might be too late to fix the relationship because the hurt will be too deep by then. I let it happen way too often, especially when it comes to family and close friends. By doing that, I become an enabler. I send them a message that it’s okay to act that way towards me. At least with my husband I let it out, we huff and puff, and then we talk, and it’s all gone. In case with other people, if I don’t ever say anything, most likely they will do same thing or worse over and over again, and it’s either my husband who will have to hear me vent constantly behind their backs, or one day I will just blow up and pour all the anger and frustration on them, and the relationship will be ruined completely…
I wasn’t raised to be confrontational. Being a Christian, I am encouraged to be humble and give the other cheek. I think I take it to extremes though. The Bible does say that it’s okay to rebuke someone, but it is to be done with love. Oh, how much love do you feel when you are angry? I personally need some time to cool off before I even attempt to speak. If I try to prove myself right in the heat of the moment, it never ever turns out well. I’m learning how to set boundaries with people so that there is no conflict in the first place. Speaking my mind is hard for me, and I internally suffer. Why am I such a chicken?
What kind of advice would you give to someone like me? How do you find courage to speak up without feeling uncomfortable afterwards? Please comment and share your thoughts.