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Friday, May 19, 2023

Peace-Faking is not Peace-Making

 I used to say I was the opposite of a conflict avoider. If there was something wrong between us, I would always talk to you about it.  As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that isn't really a good way to describe me. It seems that the opposite of a conflict avoider would be someone who seeks out and enjoys conflict.  Some people revel in debate and confrontation.  That is 100% not me. 

I don’t enjoy the mess and hard work of clarification to fix a miscommunication. It grieves my heart to confront and then someone has to suffer the consequences of their own actions. 

But I do love genuine peace. Conflict avoiding is not real peace-making, it is peace-faking. I hate the pain and bitterness of peace-faking more the pain and mess of peace-making.  

If I confront you with something that hurt me, then take it as a compliment.  I either care about our relationship enough to fight for it, and/or I believe you are healthy enough to have a dialogue. 

If I seek to clarify a miscommunication it is because I have given you the benefit of the doubt that you didn’t mean it the way it came across. It also means I believe you will give me the benefit of the doubt when I am vulnerable about my confusion.

 I used to confront an clarify with EVERYONE, because I didn’t want to be in conflict with ANYONE.  I can thank my people-pleasing tendencies for that and  I’ve learned that isn’t a safe space to be either. I have to discern what relationships are worth fighting for and who is safe enough to be vulnerable with my hurt or confusion.

When I stop feeling the safety to confront and need to clarify, the relationship is probably about to die. Recently I was reminded that when I stop clarifying or confronting, it does the opposite of keeping the peace, it make my heart bitter and slowly the relationship dies.

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