Some people are not entirely happy unless there is conflict afoot—whether they are directly implicated or not. Conflict inspires within them, energy. And that energy is a hazardous quality spoiling relationships. Best we beware.
These are easy to pick out of the crowd. We only have to look at what pleases people. Conflict should ordinarily dismay; it shouldn’t bring a disturbed pleasure.
But for some, it does. They thrive on it.
There are two things that can help our handling of these sorts of people in our midst; after all, we don’t have a choice over many of the people we must connect with.
1. The Insight of Awareness
Half of the best life is acquiring a measured understanding. This is the skill of making ourselves aware. Indeed, awareness is half of Emotional Intelligence. We are called to be personally aware (understanding what’s going on in our hearts and heads) and socially aware (having an accurate grasp on our situational reality). If we have the powers of awareness we are empowered to redeem wisdom.
If we are aware of the vexations around us, those people set on causing ructions for their own pleasure, we have the ability to think in considered, mature ways—such that they don’t overpower us.
Awareness comes first. It informs us as one part of a two-part mix called “Wisdom.”
2. The Resolve of Wisdom
Wisdom is not often easy. As we’ve discussed, there are big tricks involved in discerning what to do. Awareness takes us to half-time; halfway there, all there is to do is finish the game as well as we have started; we need to close the deal.
Closing the deal is a major challenge in relationships where there is a hunger for conflict from one or more. Still, that is likely to be our lot.
The resolve of wisdom at this point is action-oriented. The requirement is centred on courage to act or not act; we need to understand that inaction may be more advised as we sidestep the folly going on before us. Still, sometimes it does pay to say something, but not unless we are totally committed—and able—to remain unemotional.
Practice Makes Better
After we are sucked into the vortex of folly, we feel very sorry for ourselves, and definitely fooled and even angry. “How do they do that to me? They get at me every time!”
Part of the challenge is to keep practising our insight of awareness, mixing with it the resolve of wisdom—to courageously act or not act (which is many times to remain silent, quelling our nerve).
There is encouragement in correctly dealing with troublemakers. It’s easy to give up in despair if they’ve once again sucked us in. That’s exactly what they want. Yet, they are dumbfounded by what they see in our newfound self-control. Their power evaporates when their behaviour doesn’t command ours.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.