I have a different view of conflict today than I had years ago. Mind you, I don't like big blow-out arguments and fights. But conflict? Sometimes that can be healthy.
Sometimes we need to ask tough questions. We need to speak truth to power—and speak the truth in love. Sometimes we need to challenge the status quo. We need to encourage change. And that requires a risk. It can mean stepping on the toes of others. Hurting feelings. It takes courage.
We can develop the discipline of being a non-anxious presence, of listening to the other person even when we aren't backing away from a differing point of view. Doing so requires that we have self-compassion, which then leads to compassion for others. When we come from that kind of place, conflict can look very different.
If you have a situation that you fear could lead to conflict, try approach it with compassion—both for yourself and the other(s). Try approach it without fear. See what a difference that might make.
I'd love to hear your experiences with such an approach.