Recently someone gave me the compliment of being a no b.s. person and one who isn’t afraid of conflict, and it got me thinking and considering what that means.
I’ve been called no b.s. before and thought,” yep, that’s me, no b.s.” almost as a badge of honor but in the past few years realized it was a defense mechanism and chose to heal that perception of myself. I can’t do anything about what others think of me, but it is my obligation to my soul to understand all the inner workings of myself.
I respect this person and thought it interesting that it is still a perception of me, so I let her in on a little secret. Except for myself and a particular dead husband, I have never had a genuine conflict with anyone. At least in the typical definition of a serious disagreement or argument. I’ve not agreed with others or their treatment of me, but argument or anger is not how I communicate effectively. It’s not how any of us communicate effectively.
That got me thinking more. Was I using the no conflict as a way to hide my emotions? Have I been avoidant, and use the no conflict as a way to hide my feelings? Have I been emotionally lazy by not investing in deepening conversations with others when they showed they could do without my particular vibration in their life?
“Well…what was it, Vicki?”
I’m happy to say that what I came to was that I had pursued clarity and had been open to listening to others. What may be seen as no b.s. is a sense of self, developed into a willingness to have those conversations with those who ALSO want to have them.
I’ve certainly stayed in relationships that were not respectful in the past and pushed my needs down to make sure the other person didn’t get upset. But then, I realized it wasn’t up to me how other people felt as long as I was respectful in my delivery. Sure, when you people please or think you’ve defused a “conflict,” it feels good in the short term. That short-term will eventually eat at you and become resentment.
“Oh, I hear ya!”
So, you’ve done that too? You’ve avoided, ignored behavior, or changed the subject to avoid a conflict? How did you feel? Crappy? Yeah, probably.
Can I ask you a question here? Was it really a conflict, or did your subconscious blow that puppy out of proportion?
Was it a difference of opinion or knowledge, and your nervous system wanted to make it a big deal? Was it not even that, but your head couldn’t separate the not-so-big situation from a huge one in the past, and your no-freaking-way- am- I-saying- anything switch got flipped?
“Yep, but what can I do about it?”
It’s ok. You can change it today by taking the opportunity to consider how you will handle it the next time. You can practice turning down the OMG responder in your head and see it as a neutral situation. You can respect that the other person is not your father, mother, judgmental ex-partner, boss you despised, or bullying sibling. (Unless they are, you may need to consult a therapist or coach for direct help with this.)
You can also tune into this week’s podcast to hear more about how I help my clients (and myself) recognize the voice of past experience, empower current communication with self, and implement these steps.
It can be fulfilling to wonder these things about yourself. It can lead to empowerment that many talk about and others find elusive. You can do it! I promise.
P.S. If you'd like a transcript of the podcast, check out Episode Transcription