It may be hard to imagine the word conflict being qualified by the adjective “sweet”. Yet, think of the times that goodness comes from reconciling differences that had been having a negative impact on a relationship. Think, too, of the relief experienced after expressing unspoken truths and the outcome of doing so is positive. Think of the importance of finding how we inadvertently contributed to someone's upset and have the chance to make it 'right' . Think of mending the breakdown in our communications with a person we care about and how good that feels. Think, too, what it feels like to find mutually satisfying resolution despite our opposing viewpoints. And, in that regard, think of what it's like when we acknowledge we may not agree on everything but still show gracious respect for one another’s perspective.

These are some aspects of what constitutes “sweet” conflict as I see it, and they contemplate, among other things, that we have lots to gain from dynamics that appear to be fraught with hurt and anger and seemingly irreconcilable differences. That is, if we consider the possibility of learning from our conflicts we may just end up enjoying the sweetness of knowing the other person - and ourselves - better because we share what's important to each of us and are wiser because we dare to do so.

This week’s ConflictMastery™ Quest(ions) blog asks you to consider what may be sweet about a conflict you are experiencing or did experience.

  • What is the conflict about that you want to consider?
  • What is difficult about imagining it as a sweet experience?
  • For this conflict to be sweet what would have to happen to make it such for you? For the other person?
  • What makes that sweet (your answer to the previous question)?
  • What are you considering about yourself that you hadn't before as you contemplate how 'sweetness' may apply to conflict?
  • What are you considering about the other person that you didn’t know before this conflict?
  • What is there to be gained from this conflict that isn’t apparent right now but has the potential for being sweet?
  • What adjective other than sweet may you use to describe the good that is coming or could come from this conflict?
  • What positive way do you want to view yourself at the end of this conflict?
  • How will you ensure that happens (your answer to the previous question)?

What other ConflictMastery™ Quest(ions) may you add here?

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