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Conflict | Mental Notes with Hilary Valdez

Updated: Sep 2, 2023

No person lives free from inner or outer conflict. For example, personal conflict is within the individual. Interpersonal is between two individual or within a group. Intergroup is among several groups. However, the longer the conflict exists or the more important the decision, the more stress a person will experience. It’s the life tax we pay for our existence. Conflicts arise when people are forced to make a choice between two different alternatives: chicken or beef? But the common causes of conflict are different attitudes, values or perceptions, poor communication, or a lack of clarity in roles and responsibilities. Yet conflict has many positive points. When conflicts occur it a time to clarify objectives, reduce tensions, clarifying objective, promote personal growth and change, or increase group cohesiveness.

Everyone is irritable or indecisive at times. And some people are difficult and make other people miserable. Conflict is inherent in any dynamic organization and is an inescapable element of institutional change. When my boot-camp drill instructor would get angry at a boot marine he would shout “It’s always that ten percent of the people that will mess up your day!” (But he used a different word other than mess.) But during conflict the aim is not to repress conflict, but devise ways of resolving it. It’s important to identify the techniques you will use to resolve the conflict. What steps will you take?

When resolving conflict, maintain a hopeful outlook. An optimistic outlook enables you to expect that good things will happen in your life. Moderate stress equals creative productivity. Anger is a dangerous place to stay. Shift from content (something bad happened) to intent (What did you want to have happen?) You’re not looking for a big change you’re also looking for stabilization. How you view things depends on your interpretation of events. Remove sources of irritability. Reduce further arousal. Stabilize the situation. Talk about the experience. What was the worst part of the stressful event. Restore self-confidence. What thoughts are racing through your head. What is the worst even causing you heartache? What symptoms or emotional reactions are you experiencing? What symptoms remain? Please note: Children do not have neurological and psychological maturity: patience, understanding, role modeling and teaching the fundamentals of coping with stress. Conflict is difficult, yet important, for a child’s emotional well-being. Try not to yell and scream in front of the kids.

Take care of yourself during moments of conflict. Pay attention to your own needs and gut feelings. Don’t get to the point of helplessness. Focus on solutions, positives, and possibilities, this helps change toward the desired direction. Let’s face it, some days are bad, some weeks are bad. We are all on the path of life. But if you are totally frustrated, then that emotion is replaced with anger and resentment. Choose your direction and your attitude. Identify what is the worst part of this conflict. What is the pain in your life? Conflict and stress is not harmful unless it is prolonged. Stress is cumulative: it’s like snow, it builds up. Stress becomes wear and tear on the body. That’s powerful. However, anger is a dangerous place to stay. Anger is uncomfortable. How do you stop this? There is no emotional eraser. There is no Chief Wizard school. Listen to yourself and don’t try and fix everything at once. Just for today. Just let it happen. Make a beginning.

About the Author:

Hilary Valdez is a freelancer living in Tokyo, Japan. He is an experienced Mental Health professional and Resiliency Trainer. Valdez is a former Marine and has worked with the military most of his career and most recently worked at Camp Zama as a Master Resiliency Trainer. Valdez now has a private practice and publishes books on social and psychological issues. His books are available on Amazon and for Kindle. You can Follow Us: YouTube Facebook Tiktok


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