6 Signs You Are Artificially Creating Conflict in Your Life
Conflict can be described in many ways. There is emotional conflict, conflict of interests, or even constructive competitive conflict. But typically conflict is something that is damaging to both our own mental health as well as the relationships and values we hold as most important to us. Some say that all conflict comes from somewhere within, and things like acceptance and understanding are the keys to resolving these problematic situations or ways of thinking.
A lot of conflict is self-inflicted. As someone in recovery from substance abuse and addiction I believe that the vast majority of conflict in my life is problems of my own making that have no real rhyme or reason. Here are 6 signs you are artificially creating conflict in your life.
1. You often find yourself in one-sided arguments…
In a world a duality it is only natural that once in a while there are some disagreements or differences of opinion that lead to debate. What makes these types of conflicts your own creations is that you find yourself in several one-sided arguments where the other people involved neither expect nor understand the argument in the first place.
People often artificially create conflict in their own lives by outbursts of anger or frustration with others who are in actuality trying to find common ground or even don’t understand the dispute, and if you are doing this than it’s likely that you have walked away from these arguments forgetting what point you were trying to make or regretting the way you handled the situation. The best idea is to stop picking fights.
2. You go out of your way to be upset…
Sometimes there is nothing wrong with a good cry. Sometimes we need to allow ourselves to express our inner vulnerability and let go of some painful experience. But when you find yourself obsessing over the more depressing elements of life, it is a sign that you are creating more conflict for yourself than you are naturally going to experience.
Also making a huge deal out of insignificant disagreements intentionally is a good example. Taking any small situation to the extreme to upset yourself is just another way you are engineering your own misery.
3. You intentionally bring up controversy…
Discussing the more controversial topics is not always a bad thing. Sometimes it is necessary to talk about the things that are touchy if there is a pressing situation or friendly conversation. However, if you are that person who is constantly bringing up the things that you know will get peoples blood boiling, and you explicitly disagree with their views and even insult their opinion it is a definite sign that you are artificially creating conflict for yourself.
By focusing on the differences between people and trying to bring out the worst in others you are openly inviting discontent and discomfort between you and your peers. Standing for your beliefs with things like politics, religion, and personal drama is one thing, but to constantly center all your interactions with others on things that will rock the boat for you or even someone else is counter-productive.
4. Attaching expectations to everything…
By putting unreasonable expectations on other and holding people to higher standards does not benefit you in any way. If you are getting upset with others who are simply doing their best because it does not exceed your overestimated status quoi it is only giving you more of an excuse to create artificial conflict.
It is OK to have values and standards, but to set your expectations of others too high, even beyond what you yourself are willing to contribute or accomplish, then you are merely putting yourself in a position to be disappointed. Remember people are usually doing the best they can with what they have.
5. You are opening old wounds…
When a conflict has past, that’s where it should stay- in the past. If there has been any kind of resolution to a dispute or misunderstanding, the present moment should be utilized to move on and learn from whatever mistakes or communication problems you have had.
By dragging up the ghosts of old arguments and reopening the wounds, you are sabotaging any possibility of you or the other person involved from growing from the experience in a positive way.
Even just obsessing in your own head about the way you were talked to, the way the other person treated you, or the conclusion you wish you would have won, you are planting the seeds of a conflict that should no longer exist deep within yourself to sprout into a new and more destructive disagreement. At this point the only argument you’re having is in your head about something that should have been forgotten.
6. You are always on the defensive…
As human beings we all learn how to develop self-defense mechanisms that we rely on to protect ourselves and our emotions from outside influence or attacks. This can be helpful, but is not the most useful tool our subconscious creates.
By getting overly defensive every time you are asked a question or offered and opinion, the insecurity and ego artificially creates conflict by blocking the possibility of learning something, or accepting a truth, by shielding itself with passive aggressive behavior or other outbursts of negativity, sometimes toward people who just want to help you.
Artificially creating conflict is one sign that there are underlying issues and concerns that are harmful to both your relationships and mental health. Many times these artificial conflicts are a symptom of substance abuse problems that are interfering with your personal life and development. If your or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-777-9588