Know Your Enemy

Who is your enemy? In the study of conflict, an adversary should be understood.  Adversary is, believe it or not, a better term for your opposition.  While in some cases it may SEEM like constant opposition, there are moments in which your adversary may be able to teach you a lesson. Instead of spending time hating our enemy, we should channel that energy to see if it can make us stronger.  By looking at oursleves from the eyes of an adversary, you can examine weaknesses and vulnerabilities.  Having identified those, you can grow from there.

It takes a strong will, sometimes, to stomach some of what your adversary might say.  But even in their eyes, there is probably a glimmer of truth.  In regard to competing interests, my wife likes to say there are three sides to the story: Person X's story, Person Y's story, and the truth in between.  Your own perspective is sometimes clouded by self-interest, ego, experience, or just pure, raw emotion.  When faced with conflict, the best place to examine for a solution starts in examining your own heart.

I have mentioned before that knowing your enemy has advantages, not just because you might be able to anticipate their actions and reactions, but because by looking at challenges with a different set of eyes, you might see your way toward a peaceful resolution that is win-win for all involved.

Open your mind, listen, and learn.  You can spend all day hating after you get all the facts, but when faced with conflict, the time to make things work is before things get bad, not after they escalate. 

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