I never liked conflict. Some people thrive on it. And, some even like to cause it so they can feed from it. I’ve never understood the appeal. Personally, I find conflict nerve wracking, nauseating and really counter productive.
I grew up in a large family, with two brothers and sisters and a set of parents who rarely saw eye to eye. Though in defense of my dad, he didn’t like conflict either. My mother on the other hand seemed to need it. I don’t know why—perhaps it made her feel alive. Perhaps the rush of adrenaline and the intense emotions made her blood course, her heart pound and imparted a sense of euphoria. It could be. Or maybe she was unhappy because the course of her life didn’t follow the path she expected. I learned in my adult years that my mother was a talented artist and I was shocked because there was never a hint of artistic desire displayed when we all lived under one roof. It saddens me that my mother didn’t pursue her art in some way. Although it does explain her almost manic encouragement of my writing.
Anyway, conflct…the family history certainly contributed to my abhorrence of it. Also if all that crap about being a middle child is correct, then by nature I’m a mediator, a peace keeper—someone seeking mutual agreement and happiness of those around her. Sounds nice in theory but the downside is that you turn into a pleaser, which is good for others but often works against you.
There is a difference between a pleaser and a doormat, although many miss the finer nuances. A pleaser attempts to accomplish peace, a doormat wants to be stepped on. A pleaser will sacrifice for the greater good, while a doormat sacrifices to acheive victimhood. You can’t piss off a doormat but you sure as hell can piss off a pleaser. And if you do, watch out. It takes an awful lot to anger a pleaser, to surpass their patience and willingness to understand and defer. But it can be done. And once you piss off a pleaser there is no more stubborn creature on earth.
Pleasers don’t like to fight but if forced into a corner no one goes toe to toe better than a pleaser. Patience and understanding does not equal weakness. Truth be told if you try to force a pleaser, they can make shock and awe look like child’s play. And then you’re going to see some serious conflict. So yeah…conflict…hate it but I don’t run from it either.