Conflict | Master The Conflict Within
In conflict, we tend to ramp up emotionally. The key is to de-escalate the situation. Find out how to master the conflict within, and you will master every conflict.
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Hey guys, welcome to ManTalk. My name is Vince Miller. I'm your host. A good to be with you again. Of course. You know, man, talk it. Just simply men talking, right? So anyway, today I'm sitting here with Dave. Thanks for being with us, man. Thanks for having us. Tell us where we're at right now,
man. Where are we at? That's a great question. Well, right now we're at a trout lake camp. Yeah. And it's been a fantastic weekend. Just a bunch of men getting together, being real with each other, but also being vulnerable and I think that's just something, Vince, that you've been doing a great job talking about and helping lead us into as a bunch of strangers and yet as a part of a community, you know, as followers of Christ. So
yeah, it's been a blast, man. I've had to a great time with Dave here and so many other guys, and so it's good to get away sometimes guys, I would encourage you to think about doing that. Sometimes we need to, uh, remove ourselves from the daily context to kind of reflect online, build new relationships. And sometimes there's a great catalyst for a new year. So here we are setting at this time of year and uh, you know, it's starting to get a little cooler and, you know, hey man, it's time to reset, you know. So we're still in this book called 30 virtues that build a man and uh, I gotta be honest with you. I love this book. Of course I was a big part of writing it, but I just loved the conversations that I'm having with other guys like you. And today's lesson is on conflict, man. And you know what, I never have conflict ever. Especially with my wife. Yeah. Never. Yeah. We never have these problems. Right? How many years ago
been married? So it'll be six years this December. Awesome. Yeah. Great. Good for you. Thank you. Thanks. Years. You made it. I may have had some conflict. Oh Man. Uh, if I, if there was time, I'd tell you a story about why I remember my anniversary day. Oh. And um, the wonderful grace that my wife showed me because a great potential for contracted. Do
not forget your anniversary. Oh, did I forget? That's a mistake, right? Yeah. However, I will tell you one year my wife did forget my birthday. Oh. And that has been used for fodder grow. So there's, it goes both ways, right? A Scott played both ways. My wife didn't know when my birthday was a bad. That's horrible. Anyway, so we're talking about conflict and we do encounter it clearly. We encounter it in our marriage as we do. We encounter it in our workplace, we encounter with friends. Uh, we even have interpersonal conflict when we're watching the news. That's right, right? Or we're listening to the radio. We have conflicts all the time, right? So we're happy. We, we proba ably will have a conflict today. I believe it. Right. And so what's, what do you think it is? I mean, we can't avoid this thing clearly. We're going to have it. Well, why are we so adverse to conflict? What's your thoughts?
That's a great question, Vince. I'm averse to being or to encountering conflict. I think one of the reasons why conflict is so difficult is because we're not honest about the fact that we want the world to revolve around her.
And so what happens is, is
When that gets disrupted, because we're not honest, when that gets disrupted, all of a sudden we realize how much we want things to be about me, myself and I. and so the story then continues to unfold. I'm going to respond or react to you in a way that's going to redirect the limelight, redirect the conversation to feed the beast.
That's right. That's right. Very well put. David and I, I like it because it really is us bumping up against the sovereignty of God, you know, uh, and it begins with really something deep in our own heart, right? We probably are unaware of this thing, you know, we probably are unaware that, uh, the conflict is emanating from our own selfishness or own pride or the fact, like you said, I love that image of the world revolving around me. We want to cycle it back to our concerns and our cares. And then me and again, me and against me, right? And we've really bumped against this big. And uh, you know, self is a really a big monster, right? It's an enemy within. And we deal with this all the time. So yes, it is a part partly to do with us wanting to control things, us wanting things our way. Uh, what does it look like when it manifests in your life? Like when conflict manifests in your life, what does it look like?
Sure. So, um, I mean most recently, you know, as I'm working through some major life decisions with my wife, I'm a big picture dreamer. I'm a risk taker.
So, so one of the things for
me, um, as I've grown up, my just watching my father, he was at best a semi-calculated risk taker. Give me some big picture, bullet points. Okay. Give me a few moments with somebody, you know. And off we go. My wife though, she's a calculated risk taker, so it's not that she's unwilling to take a risk, but for instance, we'd been looking at some places in the inner city and for just simply put it in the hood and I'm getting all excited, like, Ooh, look at this. Oh look at that place. Oh, and I'm a people person. So the minute I start talking to a neighbor or to all of a sudden my heartstrings are starting to Paul and my wife so wonderfully is like, David, are you drawn to this place because you've just talked to a couple of people or are you drawn to this place because the Lord is leading our family. And so, you know, like the gracious host.
Then I said, what are you talking to?
No, I mean, you know, we need to be with the unreached, the unengaged. And so I start defensively responding to. And after the moment I just asked the Lord, what in the world was that? Right? And so what I see when conflict starts arising, it's usually I get a feeling of shame or I'm not being valued for how God has wired me naturally or normally. And for whatever the reason, there becomes this dissonance like I'm not valued, I'm not worthy or I'm not appreciated. So when I start getting that sense, all of a sudden I get defensive, or if it gets um, a overwhelming, I might actually withdraw. And that's a great indicator for my wife specifically when I start withdrawing from, um, you know, you can be home but not be home. Oh yeah, absolutely. All right. When that starts happening, Angela begins to just ask a couple of questions and she only needs to ask too because then I start.
So that's really good. Okay. So I love how you're describing it and it's very transparent. I think it's super helpful for guys because this is what happens kind of in slow motion in our heart, right? Like we, we have these conflicts and we, we have, we have an agenda and then we have a way that we process it and then we have a way that we respond to it. That's right. And typically in the moment this is happening so quickly, it's hard to judge that. We often judge it as we reflect on it laying on our bed late at night going, why is this a woman not engaging with me right now? And what just happened? Like, you know, I think a lot of men go like, what just happened to me. I don't even understand what happened and were confused by because it happens so quickly and it's, it's our hearts going awry a little bit and then when we have the conflict, it's either we press into it harder or we run away from it.
Right? And so at the moment, we tend to, at least I do. And it sounds like you're the same. We push into it and then after it's done, when we feel bad, we run away from it, you know, that fight or flight and some people are exactly the opposite. They, they, they run from it and then they tried to figure out how to resolve it and run back to it. And you know, this fight or flight, that's very powerful in us as we deal with conflict, you know, we're, we're going to deal with conflict and, and God gives us ways to deal with it. It's quite interesting in Matthew Eighteen, in the book today, uh, as, as we dig into the text, I just thought it was remarkable that Jesus teaches us how to respond to brothers and has a, has a process for how to do it.
It says, here's one way to do it. You can go to your brother, you can try to reconcile with him and then if that doesn't work then we have another step in the process, and then if that doesn't work, we have another step of the process, and that doesn't work. Then we bail on the relationship is what he's talking about, but what is most interesting is not just the process. To me, what's most interesting to me is right there in the very first verses, he says, if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. Now that's fascinating, right? So it isn't about a, it's about making someone aware of how they heard us, and it sounds like your wife is proudly pretty cunning it making you aware of some things. Right, and he's good at that.
Yeah. My wife's good at pointing out my faults too and I think a lot of wives are good at pointing out faults, and I'm not saying that to be a, you know, to, to be spiteful. I just think it's interesting. We often say this, our wives are good at pointing out their faults, but what it is is people outside of us, yes, are good at being aware of how we're behaving and pointing it out, and often we are unreceptive to that. Therefore because we're unreceptive Jesus says, do it this way first, see if they become reset, then do this, then do this, then do this, and hopefully somewhere through that process we become receptive, and that's how we deal with conflict. Conflict is about will become aware, right? Is making us aware of something and you started this whole conversation saying by it's by becoming aware that we trying to get our way or we're bumping up against the sovereignty of God, but throughout the process, conflict is also about us pushing through Kinda the heart awareness that we may be selfish and that we're hurting other people in the process. Right? So when you engage in conflict with people, do you tend to see it negatively or positively? You know, Vince, I will be completely honest.
Yeah. So here's my thing is I feel like I have some thick skin and I'm a guy who I'm an external processor. So being an external processor and a verbal man. Yeah, I run into conflict on a, I'll say like a semi-regular basis, not because I'm looking for conflict, but because the way that I'm beginning to understand things, I have to process it verbally, and I'm a young man. I'm 32, so I'm still learning how to hold my tongue. Like if I think something's a bad idea, I'll just say that's a really bad idea. And what I don't do is I'm not accounting for. Not every person can engage in a, in an idea detached from themselves. So when I say that's a bad idea, what happens is, is somebody internally takes that and goes, you've just over-personalize it. Exactly. Exactly. And so I'm learning that.
Well, I don't think of conflict as a bad thing because as we've been looking for a potential home to move, which it looks like the Lord is close to the door. We're going to stay where we are. But each moment where you receive a no or a critique, hopefully in a loving kind of way, it's one step closer for you becoming the man who God wants you to become. And so, so for me, what I'm learning, it's, I find it interesting that the people you're closest to are typically the people who are informing you of your area, where you need to grow. And my wife is she; there is nobody better than her to inform me of, you know, David, you've said this the last three weeks, um, are you, do you want to do that?
Yeah. Yeah. And then cutting it down to brass tacks. You know, I'll tell you, I, I am so excited that you presented it that way. And here's why. You said, I'm a verbal processor. Yes. And I, of course, I know that you are. And that's what I love about you, is that you'll process things in a verbal way and because of it you bump into conflict and that's good for you to know, to be aware of that about yourself because we each have ways that we handle things and it has something to do with our DNA, has something to do with our gifts and talents has something to do with the way that we engage in personal or interpersonal conversation. And that's okay. We can have those ways, right? That's okay. But to be aware of how they impact other people's very important. And then on the other side of it, if we can see conflict may be in the light of how you see it, it's not always bad, it's a way that you're choosing to grow.
That's right. So you're using conflict as a way to grow in your relationship with your wife or other people. And that's okay. And it's a way for you to grow personally as a way to push them to grow as well. And so we kind of have to have a, you know, have a dial on that thing. Right? They kind of understand when is it right to push in. That's right. When is it right to dial it back, not only for other people, right as we push into conflict but for our self, when do I need to dial it back and received some feedback and when do I need to dial it up and push into the conflict. And I think that's exactly what Jesus is a says. There's this whole process to the whole thing. Some of it has to do with us, some of it has to do with other people, some of it has to do with how we handle it, correct.
The deals we have on it, but we can't avoid it, right? We can't avoid this thing. And uh, I got to tell you as, as men, um, I do sometimes see men avoid doing hard things, avoid the conflict. It will get so far down a hairball that they just want to run from it completely. And they look at that hairball, and they see no possible way for it to untwine yeah. So they run from it, which is exactly what God doesn't want us to do. I have a friend, this is just a quick story, but I have a friend who uh, engaged in some white-collar crime. Yes. And got a couple of million dollars into this thing, was found out, did prison time. And for the rest of his life he's going to be paying off the debt he owes other people the rest of his life.
That's right. And he's not joking about it seriously for the rest of his life. He's my age and he keeps sending off every month the bills he's got to pay to the people that he's hurt and damaged. And actually to be quite honest with you, yes, he could try to avoid it. He could run from it. But I love that every month he's got to pay that bill. That's right. Right. Because that makes them every day a better man. Wow. Recompense for sin. That he had consequences with other people. And while we can get off with it with him, right, we can't get off it with it, with others, and we've got to push in a complex sometimes. So guys, I just want to encourage you today to know that you know you need another brother, like I need Dave right here and we need to be having these conversations because sometimes I need a day in my life to push me to do the hard things that I need to do and we can't back down from conflict.
I think Jesus says pretty clearly that we can't back down to back down, is to lose, to lose is to be put out from Brotherhood as Jesus says in Matthew Eighteen. And so I want to encourage you to push into the complex of your life, to do it in the right way, at the right time with the right people using the right words, but to lean into it and the Christ-like way a God-honoring way. And guys, get off the bench, get into the game, get your copy of 30 virtues that build a man, finding another brother who walked through, walks through life with you, and let's build better men. All right? And you're one of them. So I'll see you right back here next time on another episode of ManTalk.