Advertisement

Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Is Avoiding Conflict a Bad Idea?

posted by Linda Mintle

conflict 2Mary and Bill are arguing again. Mary hates how she feels when conflict happens. She wants to retreat, run or hide, or simply  avoid. Too often, she chooses to avoid, but is this a good idea?

For the most part, NO, at least when we are talking interpersonal relationships that are trying to grow in intimacy. Sure, there may be times when you don’t want to take on a boss, or speak up to a difficult person who refuses to deal with you on any rational terms. And certainly, you don’t want to push conflict with someone who could physical hurt you, or with whom you have safety concerns.

Advertisement

But in our everyday relationships with our significant others, conflict avoidance isn’t the best strategy for several reasons. Psychological research backs this up.

Conflict avoidance …

  • initially reduces stress. This is true. The sense of relief we feel when we avoid is immediate. The problem is that we don’t feel better the next day. The tension mounts, the conflict is still the elephant in the room and nothing has been solved. Like so many things, avoiding doesn’t make the problem go away. It just delays.
  • can result in physical symptoms and negative well-being. Yes, we pay a price holding on to stress. In fact, researchers at the University of Michigan found that people who deal with conflict live longer. Suppressed anger undoes your health. So if you want to live longer, don’t avoid!
  • can create irritability if it simmers below the surface, especially if we disengage or feel powerless to act. The danger here is that eventually we may explode. A simmering pot eventually boils!
  • doesn’t teach us how to solve problems and cope with disagreement or problems. When we avoid, we bring that pattern into other relationships in which we need good conflict skills. Not rocking the boat doesn’t help the boat move forward.We don’t practice and learn to deal with other people who disagree.

So if you are like Mary and want to avoid conflict, consider the cost. Work on your conflict skills despite the discomfort. Not only will your relationships improve, but your physical health will as well.

For more help with how to do this, We Need To Talk, by Dr. Linda Mintle

Advertisement

How God Helps With Relationship Insecurity

posted by Linda Mintle

ID-100111764Like many people, you may have been hurt in a relationship because of trust violations. Or maybe growing up, you couldn’t trust those around you to keep their word or treat you kindly. As a result, you struggle with insecurity. Don’t despair. You can develop a more positive view of yourself that will then impact your relationships in a healthy way. Even if you did not grow up with a secure attachment, your relationship with God can heal that insecurity and anxiety.

Advertisement

God knows all your flaws and issues, yet still values you and thinks highly of you. He loves you unconditionally and accepts you through no action of your own. As your intimacy with God grows, you feel more secure. God’s perfect love casts out fear and anxiety.

God reminds us that we are secure in our faith (John 10:28–30). We are constantly on God’s mind (Ps. 139:2), and he delights in us (Ps. 37:4)! His promise is to never leave or abandon us. So live in the security of knowing you are one of his and that nothing can separate you from his love.

With his Spirit in you, you operate from his secure base. Other people may let you down, but God will not. He also wants to hear your cares and insists on taking your burdens from you.

Advertisement

Security in God also means your identity is found in him, not in what others do or say. No one but God has the power to define you. And he has already declared you righteous and one of his children. Our personal, living and active God exchanges insecurities for his security. It’s a hard deal to resist.

Furthermore, God in you makes it possible to act in ways that might not be in your range of experiences. For example, when you feel clingy and afraid to bring up an issue, God can give you the courage to confront and stay in the conflict. According to Scripture, he has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. You can confront anything with God’s confidence. That is what David did when he faced the giant, Goliath.

Finally, when you feel insecure, remember how God has helped you in the past. Remind yourself of his promises. Invite God into the battle. Put on your spiritual armor (Eph. 6) and don’t run away. Be bold. The Lord, your God, is with you. The battle is his.

 

 

Advertisement

The Warning Signs of Family Stress

posted by Linda Mintle

familyThe Jones family has been under a great deal of stress lately. Dad’s corporation is downsizing and jobs may be eliminated. Mr. Jones could be one of those jobs. Mrs. Jones’ mother passed away suddenly, leaving a deep vacuum of support and help. The children are struggling with finding their places in a new school. Basically, stress levels are high and the parents are asking what the warning signs of undue stress are for both children and parents.

Signs of stress: You know you need to do something about stress when…

Advertisement

  • eating habits or sleeping patterns change
  • people feel tired and down most of the time and there is no physical explanation
  • significant weight gain or loss is noticed
  • people feel anxious and irritable more often than normal
  • someone complains of consistent headaches and or stomachaches, a signal that the body is in overload
  • a child or parent begins abusing alcohol or using drugs
  • children skip school, have failing grades, or begin to isolate
  • promiscuous or risk behavior begins to emerge

Stress hits us all at different times in our lives. Once we know the signs, then we need to act on reducing that stress. God is your number one stress reducing resource. Scriptures tell us to cry out to God, to cast our cares on Him and He will relieve the burden and bring peace. God promises His presence and that He will walk us through stressful times.Remember, He is an ever present help in times of trouble.

Advertisement

When stress gets high, deal with it. Once stress is noticed, it is time for families to regroup and plan ways to reduce stress. For the Jones family, dad could get more information on the downsizing, begin to put his resume out there and look for a new job should he need it. Mom could go to a grief group and identify other people in her life who can support and help her. The kids can see a school counselor or a teacher who could help with adjustment and involvement in their new school. Proactive strategies help!  You move forward and respond to the changes stress often brings.

During stress, doing things together and having a little fun goes a long way to reduce stress. Families can watch a funny movie, pray together, play a game, take walks, attend free community activities, etc. When life throws us serious stressors, we can create moments of distraction and relaxation in order to relieve the constant pressure.

So pay attention to signs of stress.  Then have a few strategies to relieve some of the pressure like laughter and mini breaks from stress. Most of all, put your trust and faith in God to walk you through the stressful time, knowing He is with you and will give you what you need to come out the other side.

Advertisement

A Super Bowl Outcome You May Not Like

posted by Linda Mintle

IMG_4455Super Bowl week! Yes, we are obsessed with the game. And part of that obsession includes our Super Bowl menu. But what if I told you that your menu and eating habits are influenced by the game. Super Bowl  has an eating outcome you may not like!

If  you are a big Denver or Carolina fan, you are about to be more stressed than those of us who don’t care about either team. And that stress just might make you eat more.

Strong identification with a team increases the stress hormone cortisol. When you watch the game, feel passionately about your team, but have no control over the game, you find yourself on the edge of your seat, yelling at the TV, and jumping to your feet! During an interception, you fall back on the couch in disbelief. Your heart is pumping. Come on, let’s win! You are invested!

Advertisement

But if you lose, you may find yourself arm deep into a bowl of potato chips and dip! A study published in Psychological Science found that the consumption of saturated fat after a beloved NFL team loses, increases. If your team wins, the saturated fat consumption goes down.

Psychologically, the winning team makes you feel good and optimistic for the future. When you feel good, you tend to be more motivated in your eating and exercise. When you feel bad, well, you find comfort in those fried fatty foods!

Personally, I’m looking forward to the game because I really don’t identify with either team. I guess that means I’ll have better control with the snacks this year.

So thank you Chicago Bears for not making me fat!

Previous Posts

Is Avoiding Conflict a Bad Idea?
Mary and Bill are arguing again. Mary hates how she feels when conflict happens. She wants to retreat, run or hide, or simply  avoid. Too often, she chooses to avoid, but is this a good idea? For the most part, NO, at least when we are ...

posted 7:00:19am Feb. 12, 2016 | read full post »

How God Helps With Relationship Insecurity
Like many people, you may have been hurt in a relationship because of trust violations. Or maybe growing up, you couldn't trust those around you to keep their word or treat you kindly. As a result, you struggle with insecurity. Don’t despair. ...

posted 7:00:53am Feb. 10, 2016 | read full post »

The Warning Signs of Family Stress
The Jones family has been under a great deal of stress lately. Dad's corporation is downsizing and jobs may be eliminated. Mr. Jones could be one of those jobs. Mrs. Jones' mother passed away suddenly, leaving a deep vacuum of support and help. ...

posted 7:00:19am Feb. 08, 2016 | read full post »

A Super Bowl Outcome You May Not Like
Super Bowl week! Yes, we are obsessed with the game. And part of that obsession includes our Super Bowl menu. But what if I told you that your menu and eating habits are influenced by the game. Super Bowl  has an eating outcome you may not ...

posted 7:00:32am Feb. 05, 2016 | read full post »

Conflict? Who Should Make the First Move?
Hannah hadn't spoken to her mother for a month and the tension between them could be cut with a knife. It was Saturday morning and Hannah was contemplating picking up the phone and making a call. She wanted to resolve the problem. But here ...

posted 7:00:31am Feb. 03, 2016 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.