FIGHT FAIR! – the 3 ways in which conflict with your ex can always be a creative opportunity – even if it’s a lousy experience to go through!


DivorceRx with Alan Sharland

Little did I now when I was dealing with my ex, that our conflicts what tell me us much about myself as it did about my ex.  In a very interesting webinar on conflict resolution, with an accomplished and empathetic mediator all the way from England, Alan Sharland.  In this webinar,  I learned a lot about how I handle conflict, and just as important, I learned the way my ex does as well. The best part about it is understanding how we react in times of conflict when we can actually look at ourselves from outside of ourselves, we are able to see how we can take responsibility and change it from conflict (argh!) to resolution (ahhhh!).

When we get into a conflict, with our ex, with our children, with our boss, usually we respond in one of two ways.

It’s either a competition;” I’m right and you’re wrong” name calling, bad versus good labels, which actually creates a victim mentality. That person needs to prove their “rightness” (sorry, but if Colbert can make up words, so can I!)  What we need to realize it is “I am right for me, and you are right for you”.

Or, it’s avoidance  “if I avoid this, and maybe it will go away” the problem with a avoidance, is that you really don’t get to live your life your way. If you can’t go to your favorite restaurant because your ex might be there, or you’re afraid to go to a city where your ex, avoiding the issue makes you the victim, makes it so that you can’t live the life you want to live!  (this is me, 75% of the time)

Either way, you lose.   With competition, there is name-calling, victim making, and it justifies the conflict.  With avoidance, you simply miss out on the joys of life.  You are stuck in your own world, unable to go where you want to go, when you want to go.  It’s a life of FEAR!

It might take a strong person, but it can work only with someone who can be self-aware.  Can you actually look at how you are handling your conflicts with your ex to see if you are in competition or avoidance?  Are you falling for your exes goading you into competition?  Are you name calling, yourself?  Are you ready to resolve it and find out what the real issues are?   Do some self reflection and commit to doing what it takes to resolve or move on. Create the feeling within yourself that this just HAS to change. When you can get in touch with how you are really feeling and how you are handling your conflicts, you can find ways to support yourself through it and into resolution.  You can focus on the problem and not on the conflict.

The good news is there is good news in conflict!  You get to learn about the situation, and create a different way around it.  You can learn how to understand other’s personal issues (and there are some!) “I understand they see it that way”, and it can give us some insight into ourselves; How we handle conflict when we get squeezed.  I wrote an article about Wayne Dyer’s last lesson, posted on his facebook page the morning of his death.  It was all about how an orange, when it is squeezed, squirts out orange juice, because that’s what’s inside.  What is inside of YOU when YOU get squeezed.  What comes out?  Is it nice, or is it ugly?  See how we can learn about ourself when the pressure is on?  It’s only in knowing that we can change!  So, three cheers for conflict!

When you watch the webinar with expert Alan Sharland, prepare to take notes!  You will be glad you did.


About Alan Sharland

Alan Sharland has been a Mediator for 21 years supporting people in resolving their interpersonal conflicts. He is also a Conflict Coach and Trainer and Consultant in Conflict Resolution skills and effective communication practices. Alan is based in London, UK and has previously been Director of a community mediation service in West London as well as an independent mediator working in the fields of workplace disputes, neighbour disputes and complaints work. He has worked with families experiencing unresolved conflict via one-to-one conflict coaching for individuals as well as group mediations involving family members.

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