It takes two to fight

Angry Woman" by graur codrin
When I was a child and I got mad at one of my friends, my mother always reminded me, it takes two to fight. This meant she thought I was as much to blame for the conflict as my friend was. This in turn, made me consider my own contributions to the conflict and by doing so, better resolve the conflict by taking responsibility for my actions.

Whenever I find myself in conflict with another person, I try my best to review my own behavior to see how I contributed to the conflict.  I realize I might not be able to do anything to improve the current situation, but there is almost always something I can learn from the experience.  Perhaps next time I can avoid the conflict entirely.

However, the lesson I’ve learned the most from taking responsibility for my side of the conflict isn’t that conflicts are avoidable. Often, they are not.  It is more that by looking to correct my own behavior first, I do not focus on trying to get the other person to change their behavior at all.

The only person I can control is myself and even that is sometimes iffy if I am stressed or low on food energy. The point is that so often our conflicts are a result of us trying to control someone else. When we stop trying to control others, a good number of our conflicts simply go away. And that is why, it is always important to remember, it takes two to fight.

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