Conflict has a bad rap. Just think of the word. Ask people the first things that come mind when they hear it, and they’ll often say things like, “run away,” “somebody gets hurt,” “I hate it,” “fighting,” or “war.” Most peoples’ negative associations with conflict come from personal experience. Mine do, too. I grew up the son of Mennonite missionary parents. Mennonites are a Protestant denomination known for nonviolent conflict resolution. The early messages I heard growing up were, “Turn the other cheek” or “Find a way to solve your problem without resorting to violence.” My parents dedicated their lives to building more peaceful and uplifting relationships with others.
Conflict can be destructive, but it by no means has to be.