Everyone experiences conflict weather they have Bipolar Disorder or not. It’s just part of coexisting with other human beings. For those of us who do have Bipolar Disorder, we can experience additional challenges when it comes to conflict resolution. Bipolar symptoms can completely amplify our feelings (both good and bad ones) beyond the threshold of what most people experience. This can prevent us from being able to reason or make healthy decisions with clarity in the “heat of the moment.”
When we’re symptomatic, things that usually don’t bother us can become a big deal. The smallest situations can be “amplified” and escalate into serious problems for us – OR especially those around us. We often don’t realize that we overreacted until the episode passes and the damage is done. Our “issues” can truly feel so REAL and important at the time. Later, they can become a source of regret and self-loathing, which can turn into a catalyst for depression.
I was reading the work of an Australian Author who was discussing ways to handle confrontation or conflict in a better way. Much of what he talked about came down to “bridging the gap of understanding” by focusing more on WHY people may have a certain belief system – instead of getting upset at them for not sharing ours. There was also a lot of emphasis on truly listening to others – without holding our breath and waiting for our turn to interject our views. Everyone wants – no, NEEDS to be heard. Sometimes just letting someone know they were heard can make a world of difference.
I’ve been practicing some new techniques for a few weeks now and it’s made a positive impact in my life. I thought it would be worth sharing them with the Polar Warrior Community and I hope you all find the video helpful. As with so many things I talk about on my channel, it takes practice to change years or decades of habitual responses to life. Please be patient with yourself and remember to celebrate every tiny victory. There’s no race. We are all working on something. Even the most revered teachers, counselors, and leaders in the world could give you a list of things they wish they could improve upon. We’re all in this together =)
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