It is a very sad thing that those we love the most have the ability to hurt us like nobody else.
When there is a disagreement, when things get heated and words have been said that one regrets, it’s really important to hold onto the idea to ‘let it all go’.
To have perfect memories of how people we love have let us down will never work for us and will, in fact, inhibit the chance of true happiness in this universe. When your memory doesn’t serve you well in times of conflict, this is a very good thing! To forget is a gift.
I’ve already spoken about the negative influence some friends (and family) have in life and how it’s so important to set boundaries and not allow these people to take centre stage. Now you must remember to keep this in mind when deciding whether a situation is worth salvaging.
Ask yourself this question:
Does this relationship add value to my life? Is it worth salvaging?
If the answer is yes, yes, a million times over yes, then you know you have a relationship is worth fighting for. This person needs to be told, in no uncertain terms, that you are sorry and regret what has been said. If you’ve been hurt, try your best to forgive and forget, in order to move forward.
Hold on though, because there are two things to consider when moving forward:
- You may have to take a stance to resolve some issues. Talk things out, write things down if you need to. Think about topics that you should steer away from in the future. I remember my parent’s advice not to ever argue about money or family matters. If this advice was heeded at all times, I can just imagine the conflict that would have been avoided! Be honest with each other.
If you find that the same topic keeps coming up again and again, make a resolution to either:
a) stop bringing it up
b) deal with the reason why it’s such a volatile issue (ask yourself what your own personal issues are with this topic)
or c) try to come to a mutual understanding or compromise which means that you’ll both deal with it better in the future inshaAllah.
2. The second way which will help you move forward is to stay quiet!
Use duct tape if you have to but keep your mouth closed. It will avoid so many future battles! Two quotes come to mind here:
‘If duct tape doesn’t work, you’re not using enough!’
and our Beloved Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
Silence is golden. Silence is underrated. Indeed the benefits of silence are many.
Not only does somebody who chooses to remain silent avoid conflict but silence also has many other physical and mental health benefits including:
- Improving the memory
- Stimulating brain growth
- Relieving stress
- Fighting Insomnia
- Heightening sensitivity
For more detail on this, see this article. It’s all very interesting. Hopefully it will remind us all to choose to remain silent more often.
I was once given the priceless advice that when in a conflict, one must never say ‘the worst thing ever’. This ‘thing’ that is the ‘archilles’ heel’ of a person; a weakness, a vulnerability that generally only the people closest even know about. If it is ever uttered, it will be so so difficult to backtrack and take it back. Equally so, it will be so difficult for the other person to take it out of their mind in order to forgive and forget.
This piece of advice is golden. Take heed and don’t ever utter those words.
To forgive and forget as quickly as you can is wonderful if you can do it and so healing. If you can learn to take a slice of humble pie and do this, it is so rewarding – you’ll be able to salvage even the most tenuous relationships.
In an argument with one’s spouse, one of my teachers once gave the advice to say:
YOU ARE RIGHT
IT’S ALL MY FAULT
I AM SORRY!
99.9% of the time this works like the shifa (cure) of all arguments!
Use variations. Change it around a bit. But, ultimately using these three sentences is the saviour of all relationships. It actually deflates a potentially large, previously unresolvable conflict. It opens the doors for forgiveness each time, for what has been upset but our egos (naffs) through all of this?
When we admit that it is our fault (afterwards you can clarify and accept only partial blame! It takes two after all. Haha), it acts as an extinguisher for the ego. With the ego subdued, there is nowhere for the argument to go and it often fizzles out. Sceptical? Try it and see!
Once the situation (read rage) has been diffused, somewhat, it’s easier at that point, to get to the crux of the matter:
Why do you feel so hurt?
How can we ensure that this doesn’t happen again?
If it’s a spouse issue, because let’s face it we all have those, then my mum has always advised me to ‘carry on as normal’ when it comes to serving the family and fulfilling my duty in the household (be it going to work in the morning or carrying out the school run or any other duty which pertains to managing the household). Yes there has to be a consequence if you’re not happy but there’s no need to involve other family members in your disagreement!
I’ve noticed that this really does stop a situation from escalating. It’s a message that everything will be fine, it’s reassuring and full of love. It ensures love will indeed prevail, after all this has passed. It helps in changing the conflict from boiling rage to simmering tempers and puts a lid on any substance that may have taken form had these responsibilities or duties been neglected.
A note on Silent Treatment
Haha! Husbands usually enjoy this ‘time out’!
When I was younger, I used to use this ‘strategy’ to deal with situations I wasn’t happy with. As I got older, I noticed how it just prolonged matters and didn’t give me what I needed to get over the situation. In fact, it was literally prolonging my feeling of hurt; I felt misunderstood and hurt for longer. For what was the definition of this ‘strategy’ except:
It’s ridiculous really. The best way to deal with things like this is open communication. Speak about the issue! Try to resolve it in the best of manners, when all is calm.
And if you are ever at the receiving end of silent treatment, go and do something you love and don’t worry about it. If something needs changing, it’ll come to you without you brooding over it or worrying about your own self worth. And if the other person needs time to cool down, you can give them that without feeling too bad about it.
Communication is key
I think the main thing is to try to come to an agreement, in the most amicable way you can and then try your best to stick to it.
Acknowledge and apologise for the problem rather than attempt to brush it under the carpet.
Give gifts of love, understanding, patience and time.
Remember the 5 Love Languages?
To know the language of the person you’re in a conflict with is so important.
An example of what can go wrong if you don’t know about this is as follows:
I was having a discussion with a close friend and in the middle I got up and hugged her. She said to me she didn’t want fake hugs; she wanted to be heard. I concluded that her love language must be the gift of quality time and words of affirmation. By hugging her, she actually felt like I wasn’t listening and therefore felt unloved! I didn’t mean to upset her at all, but I did so unknowingly- shocking!
Once the correct Love Language is known, it’s much easier to make amends.
Even the mere decision to make amends is a huge step in the right direction and the barakah of this should help shape the next few steps in making amends and for your relationship to be full of light, love and the possibility of forgiveness and new beginnings inshaAllah.
When the other person isn’t ready to receive your apologies or attempt at resolving the situation, it is definitely your time to quieten down. Swallow your ego and let the other person get the last word in. Pacify their ego until the person has calmed down enough to talk.
When things have calmed down a bit. time is a great healer, you will be able to go over things in a more calm and appropriate manner.
When things are heated it’s easier to become defensive and simply react to what the other is saying, without meaning to. It’s vital to wait until both of you are calm and feeling at peace with each other in order to resolve the issue in the best way possible.
This is the way you can move forward together, in a more positive manner.
So that’s it from me for now. Do you have any recommended strategies to avoid or indeed resolve conflicts? What method do you use to diffuse the situation? Are you happy to eat a bit of humble pie in order to make things better in the long run? Do let me know what you think!
Until next time,
Peace and Love,
PS To help me on my journey to enoughism I will write down 3 things I am grateful for at the end of each post. These are:
1. Summer hols lie ins! – not that I get much of a lie in with Mr. Cuddles up and about early, but I’m so grateful to not have to rush anywhere in the mornings and have lazy mornings full of pancakes and sticky toppings!
2. The trains. I got used to travelling by train when I used to live in London and travelled to Uni daily but I have been avoiding them for a while for various reasons. This season I’m appreciating the effectiveness of trains in getting us where we need to be. I am so grateful for trains!
3. The children’s cousins. I don’t know what I would do if I was the sole person in charge of making the children’s summer holidays memorable. I am thankful for their cousins (and aunties and uncles!) who lighten our load and are happy to make memories with us all! AlhamduLillah!
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