“So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.”
Why do we retreat in the face of conflict? Several reasons. Sometimes we fear the anger of another, so we just close up. Sometimes we may think, “If I don’t retreat, our relationship will be broken.” Sometimes, and I suppose this is the most insidious of all, we retreat because we’re afraid that if we get into an argument and a discussion, we will have to admit something about ourselves. We might have to see where we are wrong, and so we just retreat.
But unresolved conflict is not resolved by retreating; it only gets worse. You may stuff it down, you may repress it, but I will guarantee your stomach will keep the score. If you have a problem that you shove out the front door and refuse to address, it will crawl around the house and come in the basement window. Don’t practice avoidance. Love others enough to confront. The ability to confront reveals the strength of a relationship. Good communication in relationships begins with listening.
Share with a friend the reasons you struggle to listen during conflict. Think together about strategies to help you remember to listen amid conflict.