If you are like me, you’ve probably experienced the casualties of conflict. You’ve probably experienced first-hand how pervasive and difficult conflict is, and wondered if there is a better way.
I’m no stranger to conflict.
I grew up in Africa, the son of Mennonite missionary parents. During high-school in the 1980s I lived in Botswana, which was the only functioning black democracy in Africa at the time. I witnessed the casualties of politically motivated violence perpetrated by the South African Apartheid government, including car bombs and assassinations of political refugees. As a clinical psychologist I worked with victims of domestic violence, persons struggling with drug addiction, and feuding couples who wanted nothing more than to destroy their partner.
Being brought up in a Mennonite family, I was raised as a pacifist, encouraged to turn the other cheek and never resort to violence under any circumstances. I did pretty well, with a few exceptions. Something never felt quite right for me, though. I witnessed a ton of supposedly peace-loving people doing a lot of nasty things to each other; passive-aggressive games, avoidance, gossip, power-plays, expert use of guilt as a weapon, and the list goes on. All the while, never raising their voices or physically touching another person. I wondered, “Is this what people do when there’s conflict?” “If this is peace, why are there so many casualties?”
This led me to the big question which has been the focus of most of my professional career.
It is possible to have conflict without casualties?
My training in clinical psychology taught me a ton about the nuances of interpersonal communication and why people act the way they do. My research and experience with Next Element over the past 10 years has revealed that the answer is a resounding YES.
There is a better way. It’s called Compassionate Accountability.
This blog will be based on the discoveries and methodologies outlined in my book, Conflict Without Casualties, my experience and research working at Next Element, and our most wonderfully inspiring role-models, our clients.
- Explore the essence of conflict and consider why it might be a good thing.
- Dive into the psychology of conflict and learn how to make it your friend.
- Recognize and stop energy vampires in your life.
- Release yourself from the negative pull of drama.
- Find an authentic way to take responsibility for conflict in your life.
- Harness the positive potential in conflict to become more assertive, confident, and effective in your own relationships.
- Build a positive conflict support system.
- Experience a host of ways to apply compassionate accountability for a more fulfilling life.
I hope you engage, ask questions, share your perspective, and let me know how these posts resonate with you.
With anticipation and gratitude for the journey,
Nate Regier, PhD