Conflict Drama

Pent up for months in our homes, muffled behind masks in public, hiding from everyone we don’t live with, we’re bound to have some anger in there somewhere. Right? And who do we take it out on? If we live with people, probably them. If we live alone, maybe someone else we are in contact with, a neighbor, a relative, a co-worker, a friend.

Things that may not have seemed like a big deal before, now seem annoying, frustrating, or just flat out piss you off. You may have real justifiable reasons for being angry or upset. This post is acknowledging that we all have feelings of anger at times and we all have conflict at times. There may be perfectly valid reasons, but holding onto anger isn’t good for our bodies and often it comes out in conflict. Some of that conflict is conflict drama which can offer a release of tension that we need, but we want it to come out healthily and for it to not ruin relationships.

Consider: Have you been carrying around anger? If so, where are you keeping it right now? What are the things making you annoyed or mad?

Conflict is normal. Unfortunately, sometimes resolving it healthily isn’t easy. This is one of the reasons we have wars and bar fights.

I want to invite you today to examine conflict in your life right now, recognizing it as normal, as healthy, as something to be expected, and in examining it, write about it.

There are two exercises to choose from, both include a letter.

  1. Write a letter to someone you have had a conflict with. You can be as angry as you want with them, but in the end, try to have some sort of resolution that makes you feel better and doesn’t involve physically harming that person. OR
  2. Write a letter to “Conflict.” Begin, Dear Conflict” or “Dear Conflict I’ve been dealing with lately,” or something similar.

In whichever letter format you choose, include some (try for 5 or more) of the following.

  1. Name the conflict
  2. What is the feeling you are holding onto connected with that conflict?
  3. Is the conflict keeping you up at night? If so, say it- in your words.
  4. Why you are right/correct on your side of the conflict.
  5. Why the other person in the conflict might think they are right/correct
  6. Why they might be right/correct
  7. The color this conflict was when it first happened
  8. The color of the conflict in one year from now
  9. Where you notice the conflict in your body
  10. If this conflict were an animal, what animal would it be.
  11. If the conflict were an animal, what sound would it make
  12. If the conflict wore a costume, what would it dress as for a costume party
  13. If the conflict could be resolved, what would you need to do
  14. If the conflict could be resolved, how would you feel after it is?
  15. What happens if you de-center this conflict?

Writing about a conflict can help us feel some resolve about that conflict. It can also help us deal with emotions we have around it in ways we might not be able to if we confront the other person or choose another way. The conflict might be a huge deal to us at the beginning of exploring our emotions around it and at the end, maybe not as large. It may be that the conflict stays big to us but we decide to set limits in a different way or to interact in a different way after exploring it in ourself first.

I encourage you, after you are done writing about the conflict, to write a few words, maybe even a sentence or so about how the conflict feels now that you have written about it. Did anything change for you? If so, what? How do you feel now about it? Allow yourself whatever comes.

Writing gives us time to reflect, to validate our feelings, and to sort out what we want to do or not do. Even if it feels strange to write what we feel, it can help us organize us when things feel chaotic. Trust that you know what to write because you are the only one who could write what you write- because you are you and no one else is.

Thank you for writing with us today. If you would like to write with us every week, please sign up for the blog to get weekly prompts encouraging your writing, your creativity and to strengthen mental health.

Be well. Take care.

-Liza Wolff-Francis

Published by lizawolfffrancis

Liza Wolff-Francis is a poet and writer with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College who is proud to have served two terms as a member of the Albuquerque Poet Laureate Program’s Selection Committee. She was co-director for the 2014 Austin International Poetry Festival and a member of the 2008 Albuquerque Poetry Slam Team. She has an ekphrastic poem posted in Austin’s Blanton Art Museum by El Anatsui’s sculpture “Seepage” and her work has most recently appeared in Steam Ticket, eMerge, Minute Magazine, Weaving the Terrain: 100 Word Southwestern Poems, Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems, Poetic Routes, Poetry Pacific, Edge, and on various blogs. She has a chapbook out called Language of Crossing (2015, Swimming with Elephant Publications), which is a collection of poems about the Mexico- U.S. border. She loves breakfast food, popcorn and dark chocolate.

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