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April 28th, 2006


Conflict is the foundation of all interpersonal relationships. This is a problem ... how? Basically I dislike conflict! therein lies my conflict with relationships. Although I find myself frequently mediating interpersonal conflicts, as an introvert these resolutions are draining. Resolving the conflict drains me, so I avoid conflict and selfish people.

Selfish you say? Yes, consider the simplest case: two people, like you and Mom, or you and Joe Friend, or you and da luva Aaron Erins:

A. You want to __fill_in_something__ with someone else.
B. Someone else wants to __fill_in_some_other_thing__ with you.

Conflict, big whoop! Take a moment to reflect: why not do what they want? Ahh, yes! I relish in hearing your responses to that question yet, at the same time, I notice that they are all variants of one answer: me, myself and I. Here are some sample responses:

1. "I don't wanna", 2. "They don't consider my wants", or my favorite 3. "They are stream-rolling me".

Perhaps it sounds arrogant to belittle your response to just one of three archetypes, still I find each is a verbal manifestation of the seed of conflict. This seed is a person devoured by, respectively:

1. the child self, 2. the depressed self, 3. and the paranoid self.

We whine about not getting our way and stubbornly reject their claim, complain about being overlooked and win with guilt, or defend our wants and needs by slyly finding something that trumps their claim. Even if there are more manifestations of the self, my point remains that conflict occurs when I relate only to my self.

So how do I mediate such base selfishness? Clear and evident, the resolution is. (in Yoda speak) A realization of the self as non-self and all selves (the Buddhas say) -- that is a real solution. Therefore the conflict is between us, within me and it dissolves when relationships become intrapersonal.