In my years of coaching, one thing I have heard too many times to count is, “I don’t like conflict.” My clients use this as a reason to not take bold action, not speak the things that need to be said, and ultimately to hide from discomfort.
In this episode, I cover conflict with a new lens; one that helps my clients lose their fear about stepping into conflict with the intention of getting to the other side with problems solved.
Listen to this episode to see where you are hiding from conflict, and to learn how to face it head on.
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Get on my waitlist for my signature group coaching program here.
episode number 105, Dealing with Conflict.
women learn not only to heal from their spouse’s betrayal, but to become
the boldest, truest, most decisive and confident versions of themselves
ever. If you know there’s more for you than the life you’re currently
living, but don’t quite know how to get there, you are in the right place.
Stick around to learn how to create a life that will knock your own socks
off. Is it possible? It is and I’m here to show you how. I’m your host,
Andrea Giles. Are you ready? Let’s dive in.
the beginning of December, and I am rolling out some podcasts a little bit
early to free up some time later in the month for Christmas. So I hope that
when you hear this podcast, it will be useful to you. Something that comes
up a lot in my coaching is conflict. I hear people all the time say, “I
just don’t like conflict.” Or their spouses say, “I don’t like conflict. I
don’t want to fight. I don’t want to have conflict. I don’t like the
things because they’re either very conflict adverse because they feel
really uncomfortable or because they have some thoughts about conflict like
that it’s bad to have conflict, that it’s bad somehow. And so today I want
to talk to you a little bit about this.
have people reach out to me wanting to know how to work with me. The way to
work with me is I will be rolling out a version of my No and 90 program in
January where you can join whenever you want. Instead of waiting for the
quarterly program start, I’m going to have it changed so that you can join
when you are ready for it. And I decided to do that after having many
people reach out to me after the program has started saying, “I need help
right now.” And I know that we don’t get to control the timing of when
certain things happen in our lives, and I want to make it available all
year long for my clients whenever they need it. So I’m going to be making
some changes inside the program to make sure that everybody’s well taken
care of. But if you’re interested in that, you can just head over to my
webpage, andreagiles.com, and you can get on the wait list there.
editing my webpage. When I first started coaching, I mainly was working
with people who are members of the Latter Day Saint community, mainly
because I understand them very well. I know their thought process,
processes, things like that. And I have branched out way beyond that. And
now the minority of people that I coach are members of that faith. And the
majority are either no faith or lots of different faiths. And so I’m only
saying that because if you have been a listener to this podcast and are not
a member of the LDS faith and go to my website and see some of those things
in there, it might discourage you from reaching out to me. And I want you
to know that I love all the people. I love working with all the people.
marriage type situations, gay or variations, LGBTQ situations, all
different kinds of things where there is betrayal. And so I don’t want you
to rule yourself out because of things that you see on my webpage or things
like that. I love working with all kinds of people, all kinds of
situations, all kinds of faiths. Okay, got that out of the way.
was trying to demonstrate to her the power of conflict and what it actually
is and what we make it mean and why we are afraid of it. So today, I would
like to give you a little analogy.
or a big closet. For today’s purposes, I’m going to talk about a pantry,
but it can be anything, a garage, anything. So you decide, I can’t stand it
anymore, it’s so messy, it’s time to do something about it. And you go and
you start pulling stuff out. So you go to the pantry and one by one, you
start taking things out. You see the jars in there. You start putting them
on the counter. All the different spices, all the different containers of
various things, open containers, close containers. You pull them out, you
put them on your counters. Little by little you start to see every surface
in your kitchen covered and you go, “I can’t believe I had so much stuff
and I don’t even know what to do with it.”
want to shove it all back in and close the door and go, “Never mind. It’s
fine. It’s not a big deal.” Or “I’ll deal with it later when the time is
right,” or “I’ll ask somebody else to do it,” or “I am just going to
pretend like it’s not on my counters,” even though you now can’t cook, you
can’t chop vegetables and prep for dinner because your counters are
covered. So we kind of avoid looking at it. And sometimes we just get so
discouraged and go, “I just can’t stand it. I hate it. My house is
terrible. I need to burn my house down, or instantly I need to move to
There are things that feel off for some reason. And so we go and we decide
to bring it out into the open and it’s work. It feels a little
uncomfortable, feels kind of yucky sometimes, like “Man, look at that. I
had no idea that was all there even.” And we bring it out. And I want you
to think, while I’m talking about this, about different personality types.
I want you to think about your personality type. And then I want to you to
think about the people that you are closest to, your spouse, your children,
whatever. Some people would be in a hurry to just throw it back in, or very
resistant to even bringing the stuff out of the pantry and onto the
counter. They just don’t even want to see the mess. I don’t want to know
that it’s there.
calendar hanging on it and remind me that it’s fine. There’s no problem
here. I don’t want to see it. Or are, or the people you love, the type that
will open the cupboard and get everything out, but then hurry and never
mind. Throw it back in. Never mind. I don’t want to deal with this right
now. How many of you do that in your relationships where you’re willing,
you’re willing to a point and you’re like, “Okay, I think it’s time to talk
about this.: And then it starts to get look messy and sticky and
overwhelming, and you’re like, “Never mind, row it back. Never mind.”
Either we’ll deal with this later or just forget about it. How many of you
relate to that? Or how many of you relate to the, there’s this mess there,
and then I’m so overwhelmed and my whole house is just terrible and we
should just burn it down.
which is that all the contents of your pantry are on your counter and all
over your kitchen. You’re like scanning out not in a healthy way and seeing
all the problems of all the things in your life, in your home, in your
relationships, and suddenly it’s all just terrible and all should just be
burned down. It’s all just so bad. And we become kind of extreme. We can’t
see the good things. We can’t see the parts of the kitchen that are working
really well. Our stove is awesome. We have a great dishwasher. We have a
sink with running water that gets hot on demand. We have an oven that can
beautifully bake things. There’s all these other things that are wonderful,
but because we have all this stuff on our counter, it’s all just bad. All
of is bad. None of it’s working. I hate it. I hate my kitchen. How many of
you relate to that?
very long time because it’s all out there and we’re mad that it’s there.
And because we’re mad that it’s there, we’re like, “I don’t want to deal
with it. I’m just going to ignore it.” So it’s not even putting it all back
in. It’s more like, “I’m just going to let it be there and I’m just going
to be mad at it for being there.” So we see that it’s there, but we’re
going to be mad at it that it’s there. How many of you do that in your own
life? You recognize some of the problems, but that then you’re mad that
their problems. And so rather than actually getting to work problem-solving
on them, you’re just going to be mad at them for being there and avoid
actually doing anything about it.
item and look at it and decide if it’s a keeper, if it’s not a keeper, if
it needs to be relocated to a different place, if it needs to be saved for
later, if it just needs to be put in a different place in the pantry, if
you need a new container to put it in. This would look like in a
relationship, not necessarily saying all of it is wrong, all of it needs to
be dumped. It’s more like, we’re going to look at this. We’re going to
really pull this apart and look at these issues, and we’re going to decide
what’s working, what’s not working, and we’re going to work together to
find a solution.
People shy away from it because it’s uncomfortable because we know that
somebody else might not like it and that it might create an issue. Having
an issue is not a problem. It’s what we do with it that creates all the
drama for us. It’s how we respond to all the things being taken out of our
pantry. Now, sometimes what we try to do when we’re in conflict is we try
to take out everything that’s in the whole house. Not just the kitchen, but
every part of the house. Like, this is wrong and this is wrong, and this is
wrong, and this is wrong, and it’s your fault. And you can see why that
would be hard for anybody to deal with, why anybody would struggle with
that and be overwhelmed by that.
how we try to address things. It’s like if we blame somebody because our
pantry is dirty, they’re not going to be as receptive if we’re just
starting a conversation with blame or with attack. So what’s the solution
problem-solve. Stay with the stuff on the counter. You can walk away from
it for a minute and go, “Okay, I’m feeling really overwhelmed by this mess,
so I’m going to step away for a minute, but I’m going to set a time when
I’m going to come back and I’m going to address it and finish this
project.” It’s the same with our relationships. We can give ourselves time
out. We can say, “I’m feeling overwhelmed with this. I want to come back. I
want to come back to this, but I’m going to give myself a minute.” You’re
allowed to do that.
at, this is the issue and these are my feelings on it. This is what I want
to keep. This is what I want to get rid of. This is why. And are you on
board with this? Why or why not? And it’s in that wrestle right there that
you really learn how to use your voice in a way that is self-promoting in a
positive way, advocating for yourself. And it’s also in growing your
capacity to sit in that space where you can learn to grow your ability to
listen to others, to listen to them, to really hear what it is they see,
what it is they want.
think we do. A lot of the times, it’s not that we have such opposing things
that we want, it’s more that we don’t know how to get it, or we don’t think
that what we want is possible and so we kind of settle for the lesser
thing. And with conflict, sometimes it needs to get a little dusty, a
little messy on the counters, a little chaotic to actually see what it is
that you’re dealing with. People have to let down their guard enough to
really say what they think, to really say it, to get it out. And part of
the art of conflict is being able to sit with your own discomfort with what
is being said to you, to not react to it, to just hear it, to just hear it,
process it. Think about it. You can respond, but when we automatically
react, we are not making room for anything productive to come through from
to think about rules of engagement. If you’re cleaning out the pantry,
you’re not going to let your kids come in and take the glass jars off the
counter and throw them on the ground. You’re not going to let your kid take
the flour canister or dump it all over the kitchen. There is engaging in
conflict that is above the belt, and there is engaging in conflict that is
below the belt. And I want you to think about when you have engaged in
conflict in both of those manners. I think we all probably have engaged in
both if we’re being honest. That we have really liked the way that we’ve
shown up to certain situations. And then there’s some where we’re like,
“You know what? I kind of played dirty on that one. I don’t really want to
play that way.”
married and you are trying to navigate hard things, learning to engage in
conflict productively is massive. So I suggest talking to each other and
talking about what does it mean to you to play below the belt, to punch
below the belt? What are the things that I do that shut you down, that say
to you, this has gone beyond wanting to work through this and into, I’m
going to hit you where it hurts and try to hurt you. Finding out what those
things are for each other could be really helpful.
mean, well find out what they mean by being mean. Because sometimes some
people will think that just having a conversation that’s a little tense
means that there’s meanness, which is not necessarily true. So push on that
a little bit. What is mean? What exactly? And you can use your own wisdom
here to determine if that behavior is actually mean or if it’s just
uncomfortable. Sometimes truth is uncomfortable.
conflict. It’s not a bad thing. It’s the tension that can happen in a
wrestle to get to a place of truth, to get to a place of understanding, to
get to a place of a deeper love for each other, deeper understanding,
appreciation, knowing. And even if you are in a situation where you know
that you’re not staying with your spouse, knowing how to navigate conflict
is huge, because you will still likely have to have conversations from time
to time. You may have to navigate children, things like that. And in the
future, you may be in a relationship again.
healthy relationship, we want some conflict. We want some things that are
going to push us to speak our truth, that push us to listen. This is good.
This is good. It always makes me cringe when I hear people say that they
have a great relationship because they never argue, they never have
tension, they never have conflict. I’m like, oh, gag. No, that is not the
goal. That’s not the goal. To me, what that says is that they’ve lived in a
system where one person kind of goes along with the other to keep the
peace, and that one person is one, or both of them are really hiding parts
of themselves or muting parts of themselves because they don’t want to deal
with the wrath of the other person. So let’s stop having wrath, and let’s
start stepping into powerful, constructive conversations.
okay, that’s another issue. If you’re dealing with somebody who has anger
issues that you might get hurt, that’s another issue. But even if you’re
dealing with somebody who sometimes just tries to shut things down, I
challenge you to continue to push for more. Because if you’re trying to
stay with this person, avoiding conflict is not sustainable. Avoiding
really speaking up is not sustainable. It’s not going to work. So I
challenge you to really identify which person you are, which person they
are in regards to taking things out of that pantry. Are you the one that
shoves it all back in that never gets it out, that wants to burn the whole
where sometimes we take the stuff out of the pantry and we look at it and
we carefully examine the space and we carefully examine what we have, what
we want to have, and if the space works.
need to get rid of the one that we have, or make some huge adjustments to
it and put some new shelving in and make it more workable. That it just
needs an upgrade. Sometimes it’s a situation where it’s time to move to a
new home. Sometimes it’s time to move to a new home. Sometimes there just
won’t be the space for you to have all the things that you want, whether
the other person is not willing or isn’t willing to accommodate some of the
things that are your heart’s desires, whether they are just not ready or
unable or whatever it is.
want, because you’re trying to avoid conflict. What you want matters, and
actually you owning the things you want is what is going to drive things
forward. Either you’re going to learn that the person you’re with is
willing to do some work to find some solutions, or they’re not, but you’re
going to have that information.
like to be kept in the know about upcoming free classes, new podcast
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