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Conflict is optional

Do you know someone who experiences road rage? It is my favorite example of conflict. My mom used to experience road rage, and I remember sitting in the passenger seat with her saying, “Mom, I’m not doing this to you, stop yelling at me. They can’t hear you.”

She was sitting in her car.

They were sitting in their car.

They were not experiencing her conflict.

When we experience conflict, we often believe we are locked into an interaction with someone else. The problem with that belief is that you could be laying in your bed, the other person is on the other side of town watching TV, and nevertheless you are experiencing conflict.

You are dreading that dinner with your mother-in-law. She is happily painting her new house.

You are beating yourself up over what you said to your best friend – she didn’t even notice your tone.

When we experience conflict, we experience it inside of ourselves. It is not something outside of us attacking.


It means that everything we’ve been taught about resolving conflict is wrong. You do not need the person or situation you are conflicted about to change in order to resolve it for yourself. You are not their prisoner. You have all of the power in this situation.

I am thinking about teaching a master class about how to resolve conflict with toxic people, without backing down. Send me a message if you’re interested and let me know your biggest question about conflict with toxic people.

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