Why Conflict in Life is Terrific, and How to Change Your Attitude About It

I’m away on leave at the moment, so will be running a few guest posts. This is a fantastic article written by Don Miller.

Just about every good thing in life has come to us because we were not satisfied with something else. Dissatisfied with debt, we created a budget, dissatisfied with loneliness we joined a community.

Conflict isn’t a bad thing, it’s a GREAT thing. Those who avoid conflict just create more and more conflict. Conflict avoidant people drive everybody around them crazy! If we want to make a better life (and life is designed in such a way that we can make it better) the key is to respond appropriately to conflict. Here are some suggestions for responding well to conflict:

1. Don’t play the victim and act like conflict wasn’t supposed to happen to you.

Conflict is part of life, designed by God and it’s not going away.

2. Don’t give in to wishful thinking. 

There’s no use wishing the problem away. This is a waste of time. Instead:

3. Take action.

What can you do to make the situation better? Do you need to make amends with somebody? Do you need to remove yourself from a situation? Do you need to finish a project? Whatever it is, make it happen. Take action.

4. Don’t be afraid to cause more conflict.

Perhaps you need to end a working relationship or even let somebody down. Perhaps you need to finally tell the truth. Perhaps you need to pay for your mistakes. Whatever it is, be willing to create some conflict to finally move forward. You will have to do this eventually, anyway, it’s just that the conflict is going to be worse. Jump now.

5. Make a list of the ways the conflict is making your life better.

Are you learning something because of the conflict. Learn it now and learn it well so you don’t have to repeat the third grade on this one. Is the conflict making you stronger, more empathetic, more self aware? Make a list of all the ways the conflict is improving your life and have a positive attitude about it.

There are many reasons conflict is good. In life and in art, you can’t tell a good story without conflict. Lets learn to love it.

7 Replies to “Why Conflict in Life is Terrific, and How to Change Your Attitude About It”

  1. I agree with Darlene this was a great pick me up for today. I’m in the midst of job talks with a major city in my area. Right now its a lot of phone tag, and me sitting at home. All this comes after I quit my previous job of 4yrs. So here I am in the parents house, broke waiting. All the while questioning if I made the right decision to leave.

    Well as it turns out. My choice to take action and leave my job might end up earning me a substantial pay increase at my next job. As things stand right now. I’ve had 3 offers come to the table including the one above. All of them being no less then $40,000 year. And to think my biggest conflict last year was……

    “I might as well stay here, no one else wants to hire a 23yr old engineer right?”

    Thanks again for the post.


  2. Also, knowing how to handle conflict is key. In my family, growing up, my father was a poor example on conflict resolution. He was very argumentative and always had to be right and had to have the last word, and his overall hard-headed attitude caused a lot of conflict in the home between all of us.

    I learned early on that conflict was upsetting (but i was too young to know why). It made me feel bad, and i avoided it a lot. Conflict was just physically upsetting. Now, I know that its just an opportunity to tell someone how you feel and understand how they feel better and make it right… You cant control how the other person will act, though. No matter how well you handle it yourself.

    But its hard to handle conflict if the person is really hardheaded and unwilling to listen. Sometimes, you just have to walk away from conflict.


      1. Thank you for this post. It is helpful to recognize the realities of conflict and be “friends” with it. Even though I knew that, I never verbalized it until I read this post- and that makes a big difference. So I really appreciate this post in more ways than you know. My vow is to raise my children in a home where conflict is approached like you have written above. 🙂 Yay conflict!!!


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