Whether you live in Italy or California, you’re familiar with the current state of the world and the new reality of day-to-day living. We’re facing lockdowns, quarantines, and a number of other restrictive measures that are making it harder than ever to stay calm, connected and focused on the future. Stuck indoors with our loved ones, conflict can be at an all-time high as well. It’s important, however, that we learn how to avoid the skirmish that add nothing to our overarching goals.
You’ve got to take a brutal and honest look at how you’re feeling, as well as the reality of your confrontation and the value it adds (or detracts) from your life. The bonds we share with our partners and our families are important, and they can be greatly built upon using healthy confrontation. Not all conflict is created equal, however, it’s up to us to know the difference. Cultivate the understanding you need to avoid needless conflict by focusing on the reality of how you’re feeling and what you want.
Conflict as a part of healthy communication.
Conflict and confrontation is a necessary part of communication, and even more valuable when it comes to our romantic relationships and our family bonds as well. When we butt heads with people who matter, we discover differences that can serve as growing points or meaningful opportuntiies to shift our perspectives. In general, we should embrace healthy conflict as a part of a healthy relationship. Can the same be said, however, when we’re stuck together in close confines?
Around the world, communities are in lockdown and families are bunkered together in their homes and apartments. With employers closed or moving remote, and stringent restrictions in place, we’re spending more time together than ever and that can mean irritations at an all-time high and an increase in conflict.
Before you allow the current circumstances of the world to destroy your closest relationships, it’s important to get real about confrontation and what can and can’t be avoided. Not every conflict adds value to our day-to-day experience, and some conflict actually goes a long way to erode our partnerships, friendships or bonds as a whole. Whether you’re dealing with a partner, a family member or just a close friend — it’s critical that we learn how to avoid conflict while dealing with quarantine and self-isolation.
Why conflict increases when we’re stuck indoors.
Think you and your loved ones are butting heads more than you usually would? That’s not a coincidence. There are actually some pretty solid reasons behind. The more time we spend with others, unable to decompress or get space when we’re feeling anxious or claustrophobic, the easier it is to get on-edge or irritated. The harder we work to understand these patterns, the easier they become to overcome.
Fighting with our partners, our parents or even our siblings is low-hanging fruit when it comes to being stuck indoors. Finding yourself on-edge, you might burn quickly through the normal entertainment that otherwise occupied you. With nothing to do, your patience can run thin and your mind can start looking for other opportunities to de-stress itself or otherwise distract you from the constant panic. Conflict and confrontation is one way to do that; an easy target in a high-pressure situation.
It’s so much easier to hurt one another’s feelings when we’re all stuck together or feeling on-edge. If someone irritates you, it’s easier to lash out than to walk away and think about the complex reasons you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed or otherwise anxious and angry. Are you really mad at the person sitting next to you? Or do their comments just offer a golden opportunity to blow off steam about all the fear and uncertainty you’re feeling? It can be hard to tell the difference when you’re feeling boxed-in.
The irritations can really seem limitless when you’re dealing with a quarantine or lockdown situation. Though we often complain about the responsibilities we hold outside our homes and family units, they also provide opportunities for us to decompress from the stress and irritations we experience at home. Without that outside sounding board or support network, you can find yourself handling a shorter fuse than usual.
The downside of fighting when we’re self-isolating.
Stumbling into one confrontation after another can take a serious toll on our relationships over time. The longer we allow conflict to build the more it erodes our sense of connection and our sense of intimacy. Communication begins to buckle and misunderstandings abound. If you want to preserve the happiest of your closest connections during this challenging times, you have to understand the impact that constant conflict has one our relationships.
Eroded intimacy and bonds
Constant fighting, conflict, or other irritations can lead to a slow erosion of intimacy and a breaking down of the important bonds that help us overcome adversity and challenges as a unit. When we spend our time fighting, we don’t spend our time trusting one another, opening up or otherwise communicating in a way that encourages joy and growth. It’s critical that we learn how to take step back and look at it from a removed place, so that we can evaluate whether or not the fallout is worth the damage it causes.
Spending a lot of time getting on one another’s nerves? Then odds are you’re dealing with increased misunderstandings or a breakdown in communication. We’re more sensitive when we’re on edge, and when we’re spending a lot of time in our feelings we aren’t necessarily spending a lot of time in reality. Though our feelings provide an important jumping-off point, they’re largely based in exaggerations. When we spend too much time being annoyed, we stop listening to our partner and we start hearing things that hurt our feelings or sense of pride.
No one’s listening
We’re all on edge and stuck more in our emotions at the moment than we are in our logic and our rationale. It’s not a great time to open up old wounds or have heavy conversations. We’re all distracted by the current threats thaht exist and no one is really listening to the little or nuanced issues that are more subtle. Now’s a time to keep it light and keep it focused on the things that bring you authentic and meaningful joy and memories.
Making things harder
Things are hard right now, and they don’t necessarily show any signs of getting easier. Rather than making it simpler on ourselves, we make it harder when we waste this time with endless confrontations or fights over minor irritations or issues of no-consequence. Some things aren’t worth fighting over, and most things aren’t worth taking to heart in any form.Now, more than ever, we have to learn to walk away and drop conflicts before they become a bigger, long-lasting issues…