Conflicts and Your Self-Esteem

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Self-esteem is a  very personal feeling.  It is how we feel or perceive ourselves.   When one has poor self-esteem, he/she might feel very limited especially when confronted with conflict.  If a person doesn’t feel she has the skills to address the conflicts in her life, self-esteem may continue to deteriorate.  All lives experience conflict, so if you experience difficulties dealing with them, you are not alone.  But, having a strong self-esteem helps a lot to understand what’s going on, and what needs to be done to solve them.

What can be applied to boost self esteem?  Acknowledging that it is low is the all-important first step.  A person who wants to improve her self-perception must be willing to take steps toward that goal.  It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it.

Conflicts make people uncomfortable.  Knowing how to manage conflict and then managing it successfully boosts self-esteem.  If you suffer from self-esteem issues and conflict leaves you feeling helpless, give the following some thought.

1.  Conflict must be addressed and accepted.  Ignoring conflict rarely makes it go away. Successfully confronting the negativity of conflict  can be very satisfying.

2.  Make the choice to engage in a conflict without escalating the problem.  This can be done by keeping angry feelings under control, and refraining from revenge and hostility. Present your feelings or disappointment calmly.

3.  Listening is very important.  Listen to the person with whom the conflict exists.  He/she has a point of view and also wants to be heard.

4.  Examine the part you may have played in the conflict.  You need not accept all the blame, but be sincere in your examination.

5.  Lastly, try to learn something from the conflict.  After examining how you may have contributed, think about how you might do things differently (better) in the future to reconnect with the person with whom you’ve experienced the conflict.

Learn more about increasing your self-esteem in Boosting Self-Esteem:  Be Your Own Heroine, which can be found here. Remember: working through conflict successfully can be an esteem booster.  

  1. Tamara, 14 August, 2012

    This is such a big topic for me and a great post offering practical advice. I used to think that conflict solutions was something I was extremely good at, simply because I blurted out my anger and defensiveness, dishing out blame, once I could no longer ‘hold it in’. A result of stuffing my feelings and avoiding conflicts for weeks, sometimes months, while they would have been still manageable and solvable. My low self-esteem made me hide behind a huge wall, never admitting anything was wrong, expecting people to ‘mind read’ me, and stuffing my feelings. Also pretending I was ‘fine’ in certain situations when I was not fine at all.
    Eventually all the pent-up anger would explode and lead me to leave relationships as I thought they were beyond repair (I was afraid of the ‘big’ conflict, when I could not even handle little ones, or recognise my ‘off’ feelings). I even left places of work, because I could not resolve conflicts or felt hurt by being treated a certain way. When in fact, had I had healthy self-esteem and healthy boundaries, people in my professional as well as private life would have treated me with the respect I deserved, and I would not have felt like throwing all my ‘babies’ out with the bathwater.
    It remains to be seen whether the new found clarity will help me to overcome this, and to be able to express my feelings clearly and without blame and judgement and without ‘losing it’, in future conflicts. Avoiding conflicts only lets them grow into much bigger conflicts and problems. Running away from conflicts does not solve them.
    This is a very helpful post!

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