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Terri Lee Cooper MSc. RSW Monday-Saturday 8am-7pm  MST

Telephone (780) 418-1973
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Picking Your Battles

Conflict is hard on our body and spirit. Conflict can damage relationships. Life can be a challenge when we are constantly looking for conflict, stirring things up and allowing ourselves to feel hard done by. Learning to pick our battles is intelligent. 

Anytime we believe we have been “wronged” we are likely to move into a patterned response. The response may be to go to war or the response may be to retreat. These are automated responses. Some people enjoy conflict and have argumentative natures; they haven’t learned to pick their battles. Other people have not drawn a line in the sand and passively withdraw from conflict. They either lack confidence or are unclear on their position, they have not learned to pick their battles either.

Much of how we deal with conflict today can be attributed to the conflict styles of our early programmers’ aka parental figures. The subconscious mind continues to run reactive programs. We watch, we learn, we practice and we get “good” at responding in automated ways. (more on early programming in the required workbook).

Ideally, as adults, our responses to potential conflict can become more thought out. We can learn to tailor our responses so that what we say or do comes from a less angry place and instead from a place that is planned and productive. 

  1. What are my goals for this relationship?
  2. Is the other entitled to a different perspective?
  3. When is the best time to approach the issue?
  4. Am I going into “battle” with the intention of a mutual resolution? 

When it comes to conflict we are each chock full of thousands of associations and triggers. In relationships we are continually “firing off” triggers with and without intent. Truly, most of us are clueless about our own triggers and associations and yet expect others to “know” when a line has been crossed. The more we can understand that each of us is responding from an automated programmed place the better we can get at addressing the questions above. Addressing the questions above can help move us from a habituated response to a conscious and deliberate response.

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