I have spent the last two weeks in conflict with my father. It has not been a contructive exploration of diverging opinions. Oh no! It’s a knock-down, drag-out, no-holds-barred piece of nastiness, complete with table pounding and screaming. Aren’t families fun?
The point I take away is — it was all pointless. Sure, he and I have history, ancient and modern. The distraction to my life and business during this vital planning time was tragic.
And it was all my own stupid fault.
No I didn’t start the fight. I didn’t fire the first salvo. I don’t even believe I was wrong (there’s an scarey insight into my psychology 😉 )
However, I know the difference between good conflict and bad. I also know that wide-ranging emotional outbursts are not an effective way to deal with disputes. Venting my spleen may feel good for a couple of minutes, but like all vices the consequences are long-term to the user.
That conflict impaired my abilities: as a business owner, manager, investor, spouse, parent, son and friend.
Hence the slogan “if it is to be it is up to me” applies here as well as in business planning. I take 100% responsibility for the dispute. Whether we resolve anything or not, I will not be drawn into a repeat performance. It is my job to normalise relations. Waiting for someone else to change is futile.
And if I decide not to fight who will he fight with?