"He thinks he's so-o great!" "She has an attitude!" "They really bug me!" We've all said these things unfortunately when we are faced with people who behave in ways that rub us the wrong way, we can begin to feel badly about the situation and ourselves. Our first instinct may be to try and defend ourselves by making the offending person feel as badly as we do. This can develop into a cycle of negative actions and feelings that can continue for a long time and end with everyone upset!
We need to remember that conflict is a part of life. The Martial Arts were created to help people deal successfully with conflict! As a Martial Artist, you have a responsibility to try to work through the conflict and keep it from becoming something destructive. Here's a winning formula for facing conflict:
- Count to 10 - It's an old trick, but it works surprisingly well, it gives you time to calm down.
- Think about things from both sides - Put yourself in their shoes, then think about your own actions. What's causing the conflict, your problem, theirs or both?
- Focus on what you can change - Are you thinking about what they need to change about themselves? STOP. The only person that you can change is yourself! What can you do to feel better, even if they stay the same?
- Talk about it with someone you trust - Try to get some distance when you can, then find a supportive friend or family member and talk openly about your feelings.
- Break the cycle - Make a clear decision to end the conflict. This may mean trying your best to get along with them; respectfully but firmly asking them to stop what they are doing and honestly telling them how badly it makes you feel or just ignoring the behavior you don't like.
Martial Artists live with dignity, when you are honest and respectful with yourself and others, you win!