It’s not likely that burying our heads in the sand when in conflict helps to solve matters, mend the relationship, or clarify assumptions and perceptions. Sometimes though it may be the best tact.
The expression “bury your head in the sand” apparently comes from the supposed habit of ostriches hiding their heads when faced with an attack by predators. The story was first recorded by the Roman writer Pliny the Elder. One source I found says, however, that ostriches don't hide, either in bushes (as Pliny suggested) or sand, although they do sometimes lie on the ground to make themselves inconspicuous. An interesting take on this story (without much support, however) is that ostriches are not smart and believe that if they can't see their attackers then the attackers can't see them.
When humans refuse to acknowledge a conflict it may feel like a safe place to be, as opposed to being in the eye of conflict. It may serve to temporarily settle things down. It may serve to excuse the other person’s or our own actions or words. It may mean our thoughts and feelings are not expressed or that we do not want them to be. It may result in the dissension dissipating, at least temporarily.
Whatever the reasons, burying our heads in the sand when it comes to conflict reflects the inclination to avoid – even hide – from conflict. If this is a tendency you have, check out this week’s ConflictMastery™ Quest(ions):
What other ConflictMastery™ Quest(ions) may you add here?
Originally posted at www.cinergycoaching.com/blog/