How to avoid conflicts with loved ones?

Conflicts are inevitable in all relationships. Especially in lockdown times. We are physically closer to our family and loved ones and this increases the chances of misunderstandings and irritation. Why do the people we love the most, irritate and hurt us the most?

One reason could be that we expect perfect behavior from our loved ones. We expect them to be flawless and always know our moods and respond accordingly. We know this is unrealistic. Wisdom lies in accepting the faults of others, knowing well that we also have deep flaws in us. This is the basis of compassion. Recognizing the weaknesses of others in us makes us not blame them for who they are. It creates a feeling of ‘yes we are in the same boat together’.

Wisdom lies in accepting the faults of others, knowing well that we also have deep flaws in us. This is the basis of compassion.

So the next time someone flares up, or accuses you, puts you down – don’t take this as gospel truth. See this as gibberish coming from someone who is flawed, just like us. Then, we respond instead of reacting. We look at them (for those moments) as children who are craving for attention and need a vent for their emotions. Don’t get logical. Don’t defend why you are right and why they are wrong. Just listen, nod along and say you understand them. Just being non-judgemental presence transforms the energy between the two. Have you noticed, sometimes you may win the argument and the other person even concedes defeat – but you have lost the energy, the closeness and the friendship between the two? The secret to handling these situations is to maintain the energy. And energy can be maintained by saying, “I hear you and I will try my best to adapt”.

This requires some skill, in lowering the ego barrier and being vulnerable to the other. It might seem like you are losing your dignity and pride, but in the long run the respect for you in the eyes of the other will increase. They might put you down when they are angry or sad, but when they return to the normal state of being, they might come to you and thank you – or even if they don’t their actions / body language will show that they are indeed sorry.

Separating ourselves from this egoic state – the state that makes us react instantly – is a HUGE challenge. And this is where meditation helps. Meditation helps us see ourselves different from our thoughts and emotions. As we meditate more and more, we begin to have the ability to stay detached from our thoughts, especially during times of stress. For this we need to first practice in silence and apply it in emotionally charged situations. You need practice. Meditation helps us respond – and not react. Gradually over time, we learn to stay centered and gain the ability to let things go. This is the most valuable trait that will help us protect our relationships.

In summary :

1. Do not expect your loved one to exhibit perfect enlightened behavior – they are children sometimes

2 . Meditate and develop the ability to let things go

Stay safe and be compassionate!

Somewhere in south Goa. 2020

1 Comment

  1. Very apt. It is difficult to have a non-judgemental presence but deep breaths and meditation help. And this is true for the other side of the conversation as well. The person who gets angry can also use non-judgemental awareness to identify the emotions and meditation to let go of that emotion so that they do not end up hurting people.

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