Conflict Is Like a Splinter: There Are Worse Things Than Arguing

painting of Splinter, the rat sensei from Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles, having coffee with a man in a suit and dark glasses
Image Source by Surian Soosay

Harassing a Friend to Write Guest Blog Posts, Like Always

“Love the site,” she says.

Thanks.” I smile. “You should write a guest blog post for us.”

“Me?”

“You’d add a lot. I bet people would like your perspective,” I say.

“I could never do that.”

“Why?” I ask. “You write really well.”

“I’d just worry that I’d write something that would cause other people problems.”

“Problems? What do you mean?”

“I don’t suppose there’s an easy way to say this.” She sighs. “Page, don’t you ever worry that your posts are causing fights?”

“Oh sure, it’s River City Ransom in Poly Land. Brass knuckles. Bottles smashed over the head. The works.”

She snickers. “You know what I mean.”

“I’m sure it happens,” I say. “And that’s part of why I write.”

Cyrano de Bergerac Was Better

I get thanked a lot for giving someone the words to say something to someone else. Things they felt and knew and struggled with. But couldn’t quite pinpoint. And certainly couldn’t crystallize into word form.

I don’t kid myself that the conversations that take place later always go well.

After all, I’ve had my share of rough talks when I’ve come to partners newly armed with what I’d been reading in other people’s blogs.

Conflict is Like a Splinter

There are worse things than conflict.

And the one that springs directly to mind? Running from a conflict that you desperately need to address.

Sure, working through conflict is painful. But ignoring it is worse. It’s a bit like having a splinter in your foot. Yeah, you can leave it there. Walk around. Try to mind your own business. But the longer you leave it there, the more painful it gets. And the more severe the damage done.

When you get a splinter, you should take it out before it causes an infection.

And when you have a relationship conflict, you should address it. Directly. Kindly. Before it has time to lurk beneath the surface, brewing resentment, and eventually coming out in destructive ways.

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3 Comments

  1. Great post. It’s so true. Honesty and conflict resolution are so much easier in theory than in practice. I love the splinter metaphor, so accurate.

  2. Fabulous insight about the difference between theory and practice re: honesty and conflict resolution — thank you. You’ve inspired me to write another piece on conflict resolution. Hope to have it out soon.

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