Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Learning and Conflict.

First of all, I'm in love with AcademicEarth.Org for allowing me to 'attend' prestigious universities and sit in on any lecture I choose on a variety of topics like relationship psychology or marketing.

Speaking of relationship psychology.. there was an interesting lecture I 'sat' in about marital relationships and the nature of conflict.

I was absolutely stunned by something so fundamental. The lecturer started out by asking how can our loved ones, the ones that mean THE MOST to us, be the ones that we can cause us to be so angry and to be mad and to even abuse them?

And for a minute, I was at a loss for words while I paused the lecture and seriously pondered.

Tick. Tick. Tick. Nothing.

I commenced the lecture again and the lecturer said simply, conflict occurs when each party has a different goal in mind, and through an inability to reconcile these paths, conflicts occur. When it becomes so emotionally charged, the common tactics to use to gain submission or surrender is to shout, scream, withdraw, or a number of other things we see in fights.

I thought about how my dad and I have seemed to have endless conflict over the past few months and the lightbulb clicked. It absolutely did. The anger dissipated a bit. Why? I felt like I was just acting like my instincts were telling me to, and in light of this knowledge, I felt a bit freer, like I could change my path moving forward and not be a victim of history.

Next time, I think I'll use this information to neutralize the situation in a 'agree to disagree' sentiment that won't leave the other fuming. I think that line just upsets the other, as it seems like a form of withdrawing from the conversation. But if I were to say, "you know, I understand this is what you want for me, but it's exhausting for me. I just want to come home and see my parents and be able to love you guys. That is all. I want to build happy memories, not on a vacation, but just at home. I want you to be okay that I want something different from what you want."

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