UNITED STATES—I know people who are not afraid of conflict in any form. Rather it be yelling and screaming, or in those heightened situations where things become physical. However, as someone who studied personality psychology in depth as an undergraduate, I learned something spectacular about Americans: a vast majority of us don’t like conflict!

It’s like conflict is that elephant in the room; it’s that thing we know is all around us and the mere thought of discussing the issue at hand will just bring more conflict, which in essence will cause more stress and more headache; its never-ending. I will be the first to admit that I am someone who doesn’t always express my emotions; I more so do it in my writing because it’s more therapeutic. Let me be clear, I don’t keep a journal, I simply take the negative and attempt to turn it into something positive on a creative level.

Conflict for most people forces us to acknowledge what we know to be true, but we refuse to acknowledge it as it stares us directly in the face. I’m a major proponent of surrounding yourself with positive energy because negative energy is like a plague; it just spreads and spreads and spreads until you can no longer take it and you explode.

For me, I don’t sugarcoat things. If you’re someone who just happens to not be my cup of tea, I have no problem telling you to your face. My ego and my state of mind doesn’t allow me to be fake. If I don’t like you, you’re going to know it and I refuse to surround myself around people who give off bad auras. Simply put we won’t be buddies, we won’t be friends, but I’m not going to be rude or disrespectful to you, but you will know where I stand which is more important to me than anything else.

There is that saying that as you get older you learn more and more about yourself, and I’ve learned conflict, while stressful, is important to address. It alleviates that anxiety that might feel like you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. Let’s be blunt here, just because you address a conflict does not mean it has to become physical; it’s about choosing your words wisely and doing your best to clearly get HOW YOU FEEL across to the other person.

We can all relate to dealing with family and those loved ones who are not always are cup of tea; they can annoy us and just say things that do not make us as giddy to be around. I even do it in my family if something explosive happens, we just all go our separate ways and try to ignore the elephant in the room and it just creates more tension. There is this belief that if you avoid the conflict it will simply disappear, but the truth of the matter is that is NOT the case.

Conflict is conflict and if you don’t address it, it is just going to continue to linger and linger until you or the other person explodes. Now tell me, how is that beneficial to anyone? It isn’t America. Conflict is part of life, rather it’s in school, your persona life, relationships, family or work, and it’s going to happen you cannot ignore it.

Written By Kelsey Thomas