When circumstances change in our life (which is inevitable), and therefore conflict arises, we can deal with it in essentially one of three ways:
Ignore The Change
One way (and perhaps the most common), is to ignore (or simply be ignorant of) the change that has transpired in our life, and attempt to continue on in the same way we always have, as if nothing has changed.
But this causes conflict; we are attempting to live, thrive, progress, function, operate within a system in which one or more dynamics have changed, but we are not adjusting our thoughts, decisions, and actions accordingly. And if we forge on in this way, the conflict will inevitably escalate.
Instead of swimming with the current, going with the flow, we are now swimming cross-current.
Reverse The Change
Then, it is not uncommon to mis-identify the true cause of the conflict; we look at the change itself (rather than our lack of acceptance of it, and adaptation to it) as the problem, then begin working diligently to reverse the change, undo it, revert everything back to the way things were before.
But this even further exacerbates the conflict. Now, rather than simply swimming cross-current—as we were when simply ignoring the change—we are now reversing course and frantically swimming upstream, entirely against the current! Talk about conflict!
But of course, in most cases we can’t get back to the way things were before the change took place; something in our life has changed, someone in our life has changed, somewhere in our life has changed—and there’s nothing at all we can do to reverse that. And worse: trying to do so simply increases the conflict in our life that we are attempting to resolve.
That’s because it’s likely not the change, in and of itself, which is causing the conflict—rather, it’s our lack of acceptance of, and adaptation to, the inevitable and irreversible change.
Accept & Adapt To The Change
So the best option we have in dealing with change in our life is this: identify and accept the change, then adjust our decisions, behavior, and actions accordingly. In other words, change our mindset, which will allow us to shift our expectations, which thus alters our decisions, which ultimately changes our behavior and actions to those which are more compatible with the new dynamic which has emerged in our life, causing conflict.
So by carefully scrutinizing the conflict, and identifying the changed dynamic that is causing it, we can then determine whether it’s something that can be corrected or reversed (doubtful, unless it’s something totally under our control, such as our own behavior), or it’s something that must be accepted and adapted to (most likely).
Then, we can simply reprogram our mindset to accept the reality of the change, then adjust our expectations to account for the change, and then alter our decisions and behavior, and re-direct our actions, to be in greater accordance with the change.
By doing so, we are once again swimming with the current, going with the flow.
Voilà! Conflict resolved!