“Avoiding conflict is a core aspect of who I am…”

“Avoiding conflict is a core aspect of who I am…”
February 7, 2018 Ann Weiser Cornell
"Avoiding conflict is a core aspect of who I am..."

Focusing Tip #595 – Are you so strongly identified with something that you’d be lying to say it’s just part of you?

Bruce writes:

This morning in my Focusing I came up with: “I hate and avoid conflict.”

I know you would recommend saying, “Something in me hates and avoids conflict.”

But I so strongly identify with avoiding conflict as a core aspect of who I am that it seems quite hard to call it a part of me.


Dear Bruce:

I understand. You are sensing how essential and core to you is this hating and avoiding conflict.

So you could say it that way: “There is a BIG something in me that hates and avoids conflict… and it feels like all of me.”

And then check… does that help? Do you get a deeper breath, a bit of relief? That means you’re on the right track.

Or you could try:

“Something in me hates and avoids conflict – and it feels like a core aspect of who I am.”

or for a different twist:

“There is something about conflict that I really hate and avoid.”

The purpose of any of these sentences is not to change what you value… but rather to be able to explore and be with the hurt parts beneath.

You might always prefer not to be around conflict… but you don’t have to always have that inner pressure of hating it and having to avoid it.

Turning toward our challenging feelings with empathy and compassion leads to greater freedom and more possibilities for life… often in ways we can’t predict. I love that!

1 Comment

  1. matthew 4 years ago

    what a great question and a really helpful reply – thanks very much.

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