Why Avoiding Conflict Destroys Relationships

Here’s a theme I’ve been noticing the past few days. I trace this pattern back to my dad. It’s a bit of programming that I’m ready to let go of, so you can be sure I’ll be applying What Is Holistic Belief Reprogramming? to it over the next few days.

Back in May, at Hristiyan’s workshop, we talked about the importance of men being able to say a clear “yes” and a clear “no.”

This requires CONGRUENCE, which I talked a lot about in my speech at the 21 Convention.

This is a bit of a sore subject for me right now, as I’m realizing a lot of my trust issues with men come from my dad, and he and I are in some intense communications about this right now. I’m applying EFT so that I can “delete” this negative programming from my life, as it is a theme that has interfered with countless relationships, including with Entropy and Burning Man Guy.

How can a woman trust a man who doesn’t keep his word?

And how can a man keep his word if he is afraid of conflict?

This is the pattern I see men get into: They want to “please” everyone, and particularly women. So they say “yes” to things that they haven’t fully thought through. Maybe in the moment, it feels good to promise to help with a project, or to promise monogamy or a commitment of some kind, but they are not really being honest with themselves or the women in their lives about whether they can keep that promise. Then, when the time comes to follow through on their promises, they don’t.

And then, because they feel guilty for not keeping their promises, they produce a slew of excuses and rationalizations.

Is there any faster way to destroy trust than not keeping one’s word?

I don’t think so.

Oh no, wait a minute, there is one faster way to destroy trust: to pretend after the fact that you didn’t make the promise that you both know you made. Wow, ouch. As a woman, when a man does that, it feels a bit like the world is unraveling. It fucking sucks.

We would so much prefer that you don’t make the promise in the first place if you’re not going to keep it.

Good relationships are founded on trust. Trust comes from honesty and congruence.

This means checking in with ourselves in every moment and being brutally honest with ourselves. Am I making this promise now because I don’t want to deal with conflict and am trying to please everyone? Am I making it to get something short term from this woman (such as getting her to have sex with me), but am not going to be able to keep the promise later? Or am I in my full integrity here, knowing what I want and what I’ll be able and willing to do?

Clear yes or clear no.

And if for some reason, your yes or no doesn’t feel clear, then for God’s sakes, share your inner conflict with her.

“Sweetheart, part of me wants to promise you monogamy, but I’m feeling really torn right now because another part of me knows that I don’t have a good track record for fidelity. I don’t want to make a promise that I might not be able to keep.”

Will this create a stir? Possibly. But at least then the inner conflict will be ventilated and possibly resolved.

At least then she won’t feel betrayed later. She may not like hearing it, but she can trust a man who knows himself inside and out.

About the Author:

Erika Awakening is a Harvard Law School graduate and former practicing attorney. She left the rat race to become a location-independent entrepreneur, holistic life coach, blogger, speaker, healer, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT tapping) expert. Erika Awakening is one of the world's foremost experts on eradicating limiting beliefs and lifestyle design on your own terms. Learn more about Erika Awakening

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  1. Thank you for posting this on your blog. I recently went through a similar ordeal, whereby someone told me they loved me, and expressed his unwavering commitment before sex, but then ran at the first hint of an honest discussion of sex and commitment after we committed the act. Looking back, I don't regret having sex or rushing into it. It was fun, playful, and freeing. Moreso, as a result

  2. Erika – wonderful, I'll be looking out for more about this so keep us posted. I'm super relieved to think that there are perspectives that I haven't considered that would fill in some of the gaps, or better – replace this heady stuff with something that just feels real – and more – promotes healing. A lot of the stuff I talk about regarding relationships seem to come down to

  3. Deirdre and Daria,

    I'm feeling' kinda excited right now because after my Burning Man experience I have an intuition that I'll be able to bridge your two perspectives.

    Deirdre, I have often had the same concerns that you have and yet part of me has longed for the freedom that Daria expresses in her sexuality.

    Now I've got a new perspective on all

  4. Very interesting Daria. I suppose we are each wired a little differently. I'm definitely curious about how some women can engage in casual sex without the repercussions so many of us face .

    It's something I often ponder about myself – why doing something that feels so right at the time, down the road looks like a mistake. The last guy I was involved with asked me for an

  5. Anonymous,

    Your comments were published because you seem to have a sincere intention here, but please refer to my comment policy for future contributions to the discussion: http://awakeningfromthedream.blogspot.com/2009/09/new-comment-policy-on-blog-non-violent.html

    I would ask you — who in your early life said things you said were "stupid," and how did that feel

  6. To Daria. I agree emotional connection is great. Its great during sex as well. But in finding out if you like a girl sex plays a huge part of the relationship. Is she into what im into? Does she do anal? Does she deep throat? Does she dirty talk? Does she like it rough or does she likes it soft and gentle? I agree with you that connecting is important but you have to understand its the entire

  7. Erika erika erika…I agree with you whole heartedly…I agree the thing that makes most relationships successful is trust trust that the other person wont cheat…it shows a lot of insecurity to not be able to trust someone. Erika your post has good intentions but we both know that women are emotional creatures. answering her logically could ruin a happy relationship. Its well and good to be

  8. I feel comfortable having sex with some guys without feeling worried that they will hurt me or what not.

    I just do what I want and trust myself that if I want it it's good for me.

    I feel like they will continue to work for my affection even after I have sex. If they don't then, they don't before or after, but sex is my gift to me. And I want it when it feels

  9. I agree with everything you said here Erika, and I think women are at a serious disadvantage when negotiating sex/relationship with a new guy if they're looking at trusting him or not. It seems to me that directing our thoughts toward trusting them or not trusting them is irrelevant , because regardless of their level of awareness, we know that they lie to get sex, and we're trying to

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