Wouldn’t life be grand if we never had conflict? No ISIS to deal with. No worrying about Iran or the Palestine/Israel conflict. And that's just the big stuff.
What about the conflicts in your sphere? Or in your home? Or, even within yourself?
Through my experiences and learning, I have come to realize that most conflicts, both external and internal, arise when our universal needs are not being met.
If you talk to most psychologists, psychotherapists, or life coaches, they will probably be able to tell you about universal needs. They might not call them universal needs, but that is what I call them. There are a huge array of universal needs, but when I learned them they were divided into 7 categories.
Want to know what they are and what they have to do with conflict?
Okay, so universal needs are common factors that permeate all of our lives whether we realize it or not. When they are being met, we usually feel pretty wonderful, but when they are not being met, we feel just the opposite.
So, the major categories, as I learned them, are:
The list goes on…
And those feelings are usually the catalyst to conflict.
Unfulfilled Needs → Negative Emotions → Conflict
Here are some personal examples:
Example 1: I was driving down the highway and some jacka** cut me off. It’s so close that I had to swerve and I almost hit another car. I became totally pissed off, so much so that if I could catch up to him I would give him a piece of my mind, and possible punch him in the face.
Being unsafe → Feeling Angry → Thoughts of revenge
Example 2: I have recently moved to France and filled out the paperwork to be an auto-entrepreneur. I was told that I would recieve my Carte Vitale (my medical card) within 3 weeks. It has now been 4 months. Since this isn’t the only instance of lack efficiency with regard to French bureaucracy, I am completely fed up.
Being Lied To → Feeling Disenfranchised → Complaining and/or Wanting to yell at the people on the phone
Example 3: My days are super busy. I am trying to start a business from scratch in a new country, while also being a mom, trying to cook healthy meals, trying to make friends and be social, trying to exercise and stay fit, trying to read and relax, trying to be a supportive wife, trying to keep the house clean, trying to...
Being overwhelmed → Feeling Inadequate → Internal Struggles
So, do these examples help?
When a situation like example 1 comes up, we can’t really do much to fulfill the unfulfilled need in the moment, but sometimes just identifying it helps to ease the tension you feel.
In other situations (like example 3), we can also start with identifying the unfulfilled need, but then we need to take action to figure out how to fulfill that missing need. Maybe I need to see if my daughter can go to daycare more than ½ time. Maybe I need to shift my work goals to be more realistic. Maybe I need to hire a house cleaner. Maybe I need to ask my husband for more support.
Any, or all of those options could lessen my feeling of overwhelm and help fulfill my universal needs.
What about you?
It’s your life. Live it Boldly.