Turning Conflict into Connection: A Guide to Thrive in Relationships

Conflicts are an inevitable spice in the stew of our closest relationships, but they don’t have to leave a bitter taste. Walk with me, Life Coach Jen, as we uncover the alchemy of turning the heat of discord into a catalyst for personal growth. Drawing from an eye-opening workshop with Jody Moore, we’ll reveal how to channel the fiery emotions of shame, overwhelm, blame, and resentment into bridges for deeper understanding and connection. Our conversation will arm you with tactics to approach the most daunting conversations, ensuring that you come out of them not as adversaries, but as allies in the complex dance of human connection.

Curiosity didn’t just change the cat’s life; it can revolutionize yours too. This episode isn’t just about talking; it’s about transforming how we listen. By fostering a curious mindset, I’ve witnessed my own belief system evolve and my connections deepen, especially within the kaleidoscope of family life. Together, we’ll dissect the fine line between opinions and facts, challenge our assumptions, and learn to appreciate the beautiful complexity of beliefs that color our world. Whether you’re looking to nurture your relationships or seeking guidance to sculpt your ‘happily even after,’ I’m here to share the tools and offer a hand as your coach on this journey towards a happier, more understanding life.

Please follow me on instagram and facebook @happilyevenaftercoach and if you want to see what coaching is all about I offer a free 30 min. clarity call via zoom.

Email me: hello@lifecoachjen.com for any comments or questions.

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My website is www.lifecoachjen.com


Hi friends, welcome to Happily. Even After I’m Life Coach Jen, a certified life coach that specializes in relationships. I’m a mom of four awesome kids and one amazing son-in-law, a home decorator, a remodeler, a shopper, a scrabbler and a snuggler. I want to help you with your relationships, mainly the relationship you have with yourself, your family and God. Thanks for listening and letting me share the tools I have learned that can help you live happily even after some of life’s greatest challenges. Hey friends, welcome to today’s podcast. So today I’m talking about a concept how to navigate conflict, and if you are in a marriage or have kids or a family, I guarantee at moments you’re going to have conflict and this. Actually, I went a few months ago with my oldest daughter to Dana Point, california, which was lovely, and spent a day in this class with one of my favorite mentors, jodi Moore, and we talked about navigating conflict, and so I just kind of wanted to kind of give you a recap of things I learned.

I think, especially in our world today, there is so much conflict, even if it’s not in your family, it is in the world. And this is an election year and I feel like, with social media, it’s like we all want to say what we think and feel, but no one is listening to each other. We’re just saying words and then not listening to what the other person says, and so I think this is such a great skill to learn. It takes practice, but I think it’s just so important. And conflict really is emotion, and when you think of what emotion is, it’s energy in motion and it feels intense, right, like most of us aren’t like oh, I love conflict. I’m probably an avoidant of conflict, try to avoid it, but through getting divorced and becoming a single mom, I think I’ve really tried to embrace having really hard discussions. I’ve had to have some, really I would label them as hard, uncomfortable discussions with people. So I really like stretching myself in that way, and so I want to help you do the same.

And I think some people are like really dramatic, right, but I think drama is not like we’re not going to get away from drama in our life, right, just, but sometimes it’s okay to have some drama, but we don’t have to be the ones bringing the drama, and usually we are the ones who create the conflict, right? We like think about it and, especially if there’s a certain topic we want to talk about, we become conflicted inside of us. And then, of course, when we try to speak what we want to say, it comes out probably not in the best way, because we’ve already built up lots of emotions of anger or resentment or irritation or whatever we’re feeling, depending on what we’re talking about, and so it’s almost like we created it within us and then when we present it, the other person might get defensive or they might not even hear what we have to say and they might just then tell us all the things we’re doing wrong. So with conflict, usually some emotions are shame, overwhelm, blame, resentment. Those are some things that usually are attached when we feel conflict in our lives. But I just want to challenge you that sometimes, when we experience conflict, that can be our greatest teacher because we can think okay, what’s going on for me? Why is this a problem for me? Why am I not comfortable with hearing someone else’s opinion of me or whatever they’re presenting?

This is something I did start practicing while I was married because I felt very criticized most of my marriage from my husband a lot of criticism and so I would get defensive a lot and I hated that. I hated that feeling. I hated because most of the time, I didn’t even believe what he was saying to me. Like his criticism, in my opinion, was not appropriate. However, then I decided, okay, what part of what he’s telling me is true? Okay, maybe sometimes it was only 5% of what he was saying was true in my mind, and so I would decide, like, okay, you’re right. Yes, I did do this, like acknowledging the part that was true and then not owning up to anything else, but at least acknowledging the part that I thought and this can be so helpful in any conversation. You know, moms were notorious for saying things that are, you know, hurtful or irritating or whatever, but for me, like it’s like, okay, what part? Or your kids say something that’s hurtful, what part of that? What are they saying to me that is actually true? Like they may have not said it in the nicest way, but like, is any of that true? And saying you’re right, I was this way and, as you get better at it, like, I feel like I’m pretty good at catching myself now, I’m not all the time, but I can be like. You know, actually, the reason why I said this or thought this.

This is what was going on for me, not running away, which is, most people want to run away from conflict, having a difficult conversation, but instead embracing it and figuring out okay, what do I want to say here? And is this important? When you want to have a conversation, don’t go into it like I’ve got to convince them, I’m right, because that isn’t the reason. Right, that’s not going to be helpful. It’s kind of like a few podcasts ago I kind of talked about we can have both and right, like we can agree with this part of what you’re saying and disagree with this part. So, going into the conversation, many times and I think I don’t know where I live especially it’s like we’re in this bubble and so everyone in our neighborhood kind of thinks we all go to church together. We have a lot of similar thoughts and beliefs. That’s one reason why I love to travel.

I love to talk to people For me, I love to talk to strangers about maybe conflicting ideas and thoughts. Like the Uber driver, I love having conversations with any Uber driver and hearing their perspective. I think when it’s harder, it’s when it’s in your own home with your kids or people that you actually love and care about. I think sometimes it’s easier to have these harder conversations with strangers because we don’t make them mean anything about us. But when it’s with someone we love, we make it mean everything about us, like something’s wrong with us, they don’t love us.

But instead trying to have better conversations, that might feel contradictory. The first one is being more confident and have a solid self, and I’ve talked a lot about confidence, being comfortable with what you believe. If someone, if you are confident, like, in your religion, and then someone is telling you about their religion, chances are you’re not going to have the need Now, this isn’t for everyone have the need to, like tell them all the reasons why they’re wrong. You’re going to listen to them and hopefully they’ll want to listen to you. But if they’re trying to get you to change or become something different, that’s not going to affect you because you’re really confident in what you believe and think. The same with politics, right. Like, if you’re really confident in what you believe and think, then when someone else is trying to convince you of their ways and that you’re doing it wrong, it might not feel so like it’s not an attack against you, it’s just their opinion.

So really get clear on ways to do this, like who, who are you? Like name things, like make a list. Who are you Like, what makes you unique, who do you think you are? And I think it’s important to make a list as you’re trying to build confidence. If you’re like, you know what I really struggle with knowing who I am. What are your goals, what are your habits, what do you like to do. So just kind of start thinking about what you want. What type of person are you? What type of mom do you want to be Like? Really start asking yourself questions if you’re not so confident and if it’s like certain parts of your life that you’re more confident than others. I’m really confident with my job, but I’m not confident in being a mom. Okay, so these are just things to get curious and ask yourself and then figure out the why do you want to be more confident in these areas? Do you want to be more confident in these areas? And so as you become confident, you’re going to feel the ability to have these more vulnerable. You know these more difficult conversations.

So in your confidence, it’s like almost a knowing of who you are, and I think many times as we become adults, especially when we have a change like getting divorced, we kind of think like, okay, now who are we, and so really getting confident in who you are and realize just like I talked about with the 50-50, writing things like what am I good at? Well, I’m good at, you might be good at cooking, but then sometimes you’re not great at cooking, right? So make a list of what you’re good at and then what you’re not good at and try to list 20 things. Make a list. Sometimes people I think for me I had a pretty easy time of writing things I’m good at and, for whatever reason, not good at, but I’m guessing I just didn’t give myself enough time but knowing you can be good at something but sometimes you’re not good at it. Sometimes I’m good at listening and other times I’m terrible at listening, and so give yourself permission that you don’t always have to be good at something and then if you’re bad at it, then that means you’re not good at it. If that makes sense, if you know you have true confidence, it means that you can be good and bad at something and you’re okay either way. When you’re arrogant, it means you know that you want to be better than other people. But when you have the true confidence which is important in having a good, successful conversation that you are willing to be bad at it and still try be bad at it and still try. So really understanding who you are and what you want and focusing on things you are good at and working on things you aren’t good at, and that is going to help you with your confidence as well as having these difficult conversations.

The next one is curiosity and openness. There’s a book by Monica Guzman called I Never Thought of it that Way. Understand when you’re in a conversation with someone. We all have different life experiences. We all have different things that have happened to us, and a lot of us we don’t know what we don’t know, and so curiosity, I think, can be your best friend. It really can be your best friend with kids. I’ve had some really amazing conversations with my kids because I’m like I’m staying curious, I am going to be really curious about this topic, and that’s been hard for me because I had internal beliefs and a belief system that they’re now contradicting, having different thoughts and feelings about, and so becoming curious and open to hearing another idea can be really powerful. Try to see it their way and understand, because if you’re confident and you’re secure in how you believe, they’re not going to rub off on you and you’re going to start doing what they’re wanting you to do or like it’s okay, to hear and understand them. That is so important and going to be so helpful for you to get closer with your if you’re having it with your kids or your spouse or anyone else. So when you’re trying to be curious, your main goal is to better understand other people’s point of view, and I think this could serve our country so well.

Like I don’t know, we have, you know, cnn and Fox News, and if you say you listen to Fox News, people have lots of assumptions about you. If you say you listen to CNN, they have another set of beliefs about you. And what if none of them are true? I think a lot of us are more united than we are apart. But if you just watch the news, you would think we are, like you know, way different and we don’t believe in anything the same. But I don’t think that’s true. But the problem is where they want to have their really harsh standpoint and then the other one wants to, and so there’s this conflict. But if we can try to understand each other and see where we’re coming from, see what lens we’re looking out of, because we all have a different lens that we’re looking out of and just listen and asking lots of questions.

Get honest with yourself. What is it that’s hard to hear when they’re talking? What part is hard to hear and why is it hard for you to hear? So I think this is so good. I mean, I use curiosity so much with my kids because I used to. I definitely know I used to be more black and white thinking but I realized like that isn’t going to work in today’s world because we all are different and so take opportunities, even if it is with the Uber driver. Get better at listening and being curious to see. Okay, why do they believe that?

I just listened to this podcast and it was about I don’t know. I wouldn’t say it was a religion, but it’s called Kabbalah. I think it’s like a Eastern kind of like Buddhism, taoism, but it was very fascinating and I could definitely relate and connect to a lot of what this guy was saying. Some of it I was like, eh, I don’t know if I agree with that, but I still really appreciated like it opened my mind up to something else that I had never heard of and if I had, it was like probably in world religions at BYU, like 30 years ago, so it’d been a long time, anyways. And so I just think it’s great to give your mind the opportunity to look at someone else’s opinion, and it doesn’t mean you have to agree with them, but just hear them out and listen to what they’re saying.

The next one is to consider your opinions. Now. Just a lot of people think their opinions are their facts, they think they’re true, but really it’s just our thoughts and we get opinions from a lot of places, like our values, our family, our upbringing, our experiences, and sometimes we don’t even choose what opinions. It’s like our mom thought that their opinion was we shouldn’t wear tank tops. So that means I’m not going to wear tank tops and I’m going to teach my girls that they shouldn’t wear tank tops and so things like that. But then decide do you want to believe that anymore? Do you want to have that opinion? You know what you can change your opinion. I changed my opinion about divorce. I used to not believe in divorce and like I was married forever, but I changed. I had to change my opinion because of my situation and I was okay with it, and now I believe divorce is necessary and I’m so grateful people can get divorced.

So, knowing what your opinion is, what are your assumptions about things? Having the conversation, when you go in with assumptions, you assume things. Pay attention to. What are you assuming about this situation? We all have assumptions, but some of our assumptions aren’t true and a lot of our assumptions are not true. There’s a saying about that right, and so that’s why we need to be careful when we are assuming things A term I hadn’t really heard of, but othering, where people think things are black and white, good and bad.

We know that type of thinking. When people say always or never, that person is probably going to be very close-minded, very rigid. So that says a lot about them, not necessarily about what they’re having the conversation. We already know that they’re rigid. So pay attention. If you’re having a conversation with someone and that’s their thinking, you already know what you’re getting and chances are you’re not going to change that. You’re not going to get them to realize it. But that’s good information for you in the debate, in the conversation. So that’s where curiosity comes in. Great is because you can be like oh, that’s so interesting is in how they’re talking. So some communication strategies when you think what’s wrong with me? When you’re having this conversation, if you’re having a debate, if you’re like, oh my gosh, something’s terribly wrong, just remind yourself. Nothing’s wrong with you. We all have different opinions, different thoughts, and it’s okay.

Um, one thing I love about my dad he is smart, but he all the time says I’m so grateful I learned about this new, whatever topic it was. He watches a lot of news. He reads a lot, when he you know, he can’t read as much because he’s had a stroke, but he’s always willing to learn and accept a new idea. He’s like I thought this way for 50 years and then now I discovered a new way to think, and so I think that skill is so valuable because we might have thought something for so long, but when someone else tells us a new way of thinking, we can really, if we’re open to it and we’re willing to hear someone else’s idea and really listen to them, we might decide like, oh, that actually is so much better. And so I really have learned that lesson from my dad is to be much not so rigid in our thinking and to be open to a new idea, a new belief, a new thought.

If, when you’re having this conversation, if you feel yourself getting triggered and like you want to just defend yourself. I think this happens in religion and politics all the time, because then you stop hearing and listening to what they’re saying. A great thing to say is tell me more, because that gives you you’re saying something, but it gives them the opportunity to explain themselves a little more, because maybe you weren’t quite understanding what they said. So it is just something that can be helpful in having a difficult conversation. Another thing, like if you’re going to have a difficult conversation with someone, prepare them ahead of time. Hey, just so you know, I have something that’s really hard and uncomfortable for me to say, but I need to say it. So is there a time that we could have this conversation? And so it’s just a way to kind of alleviate the, you know, take the temperature down and help you feel comfortable in having the conversation and help you feel comfortable in having the conversation. It’s also important to you know.

I was talking to my friend. She needed to have a hard conversation with her mom and I’m like, remind your mom before you, tell her the hard thing. Tell her I love you, I’m so grateful I’m your daughter, I’m so grateful you’re my mom. But mom, I need to tell you this, and so that’s going to help de-stress you and she’s going to hear my daughter loves me and hopefully she also hears what the hard thing but it’s coming from love, not from anger.

So, in closing, if you need to have a conversation, a difficult conversation, don’t shy away from it. Know it is okay to have these difficult conversations and it’s going to help you actually expand yourself and becoming confident in who you are being curious, becoming confident in who you are being curious. And then having the conversation and not shying away from it is going to serve you well in your life, in your work life, your family life, just life in general. People are going to respect that, that you are willing to have that hard conversation. You’re not going to avoid it. You, you are willing to have that hard conversation. You’re not going to avoid it. You’re not going to run away from it and just know you’re there to try to understand them. Don’t go into it like I’ve got to prove my point. Just be like I’m going to try to figure out what their point is and hopefully in that time you will also get to share yours.

I hope this was helpful. It was really helpful for me, especially with talking to my children and knowing that maybe we have some different beliefs and different things that we value, but we can still have that and still love each other and be close. So it’s been such a helpful tool for me to practice and I hope it helps you. Anyways, thanks so much for listening. If you need a coach, I would love to be your coach. You can reach out to me through Instagram, facebook, you can email me and I would love to chat. Have a great day If you want to learn how to live happily even after. Sign up for my email at. Hello at lifecoachjen with one n dot com. Follow me on Instagram and Facebook at happily even after coach. Let’s work together to create your happily even after.

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Hi, I’m Jennifer

I love helping women and men heal from betrayal. I originally started this podcast with my husband and since my divorce I have taken it solo. I love sharing and talking about the 50/50 of life and providing tools to help you along your path to healing.

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