If you know me well then you know that I am an extremely picky person and picky people are not exactly the easiest people to deal with or to hang out with (largely due to the fact that they have very fixed and definitive choices and their minds cannot be easily changed).
To better understand people like me, you have to understand that we have many compartments and boxes where we store information. So for example we have a box of the things we like and the things we don’t like. We have a box of the acceptable means of receiving an apology and the ones that are not acceptable to us. We have a box for all our different hopes and aspirations and a box where we’ve stored up memories of all our failures and regrets. We even have a box for the things we don’t understand and a box of the things we are still processing and trying to make sense of. In other words, any spoken word, action or event that arises in our life can be safely stored someplace.
The beautiful thing is that the boxes do not come in a specific size, they all can increase or reduce within a given time or period.
Since I got married, I have found it necessary to create a new mental box to store up knowledge of things I find has helped me manage and even prevent conflict from arising between me and my spouse, friend, colleague or a family member.
Conflict management is super important to me because for one I hate conflicts (even though I know they are inevitable). What makes it even more detestable to me is the fact that the person I fight with the most and on an almost hourly basis is myself. With time I realized this wasn’t healthy because the fight I always have within myself somehow always affect someone else; most especially those closest to me. My internal struggles often results in me carrying a dark, gloomy, distant and irritated mood. the honest truth is when you are not at peace with yourself you can’t be at peace with someone else.
Majority of the fights that I have with myself has a lot to do with my disappointments. The disappointment that I didn’t handle a situation to the best of my abilities. The disappointment that I said or reacted in a way that I shouldn’t have. I am fond of scrutinizing my every word and action.
It dawned on me that I had to make some changes with the way I deal with these struggles and disappointments. So one day I reflected and brought out my phone and typed down a few simple things I knew and choices that I made in the past that had helped settle the conflict I had within myself and others.
For the past month I made the conscious effort to follow the things I wrote and it has significantly changed my life for the better. I wish to share the things I wrote and hopefully it will help you too.
- Smile. Smile. Smile Altine! You don’t aspire to be a human stink bomb.
- Don’t answer the call if you can’t find the strength to rise above your negative mood.
- Anger is a useless emotion; it hurts more to hold on to it than to let go of it.
- Worries are queues that actions need to be followed. Do what needs to be done and get rid of the worry and put your beautiful mind to better use.
- Do NOT let the outside reflect the way you feel on the inside except its a sincere cry for help.
- Before responding think ‘What will the Prophet (SAW) do?’
- If they say or do something that irritates you, think of something they do that you like or ask yourself ‘why do I spend time with them again?’
- The only thing that should be delayed is your anger.
- If the words taste bitter don’t speak it.
- Altine you are not a perfect human being; you are allowed to make mistakes. Make istighfar and forgive yourself…it’s truly okay. Just try and do better next time.
I am truly pleased with the stage that I am in life. No doubt there is still a lot I need to work on but with the few tips I’ve chosen to incorporate above, I know I am one step closer to living the life I want to live and being the person I want to be. My relationship with those closest to me has flourished for the better and I fight less with myself everyday and that puts a smile on my face every night before I go to bed.
I hope you found one or two of the tips I wrote to be helpful. Feel free to personalize the pointers above by inserting your name where necessary.
Do have a peaceful and conflict free day!
Ma Saalam x