Can You Get Friendly with Conflict?

How do you deal with conflict?

If you’re like most of my clients, you probably hate it.

I don’t ask many people that question and have them say, “Yay!  Conflict! I love it!”

It’s really important that you get friendly with conflict. Even if you don’t love it, conflict is a fact of life.  You have to at least get used to it.

And the way you do that is to learn courageous communication skills.

You might be asking yourself, “Why are communication skills important for me to start a business? I’m going to be a solopreneur and just talk to my clients.  I’m always friendly and nice, so I don’t anticipate any conflict.”

That’s all well and good, but the fact is, you have potential for conflict everywhere, and chances are you are avoiding it by giving up on what you really want to keep the peace.

Getting friendly with conflict looks like setting appropriate boundaries.  How about this?  You want to start a business, but your family is not completely supportive, so you keep putting it off.  Or even if they’re supportive in theory, they think you should wait until you have a steady income or until you can guarantee some money, which puts you in the terrible position of basically working two full-time jobs to get started.

What if your spouse is reluctant to make the investment in your business and you feel like you have to beg?

These are all potential situations for conflict.  And how you deal with conflict is a strong indicator of how you deal with everything in your business, including your clients.

Getting friendly with conflict means learning how to set healthy boundaries by knowing what you want and going after it, even when other people don’t agree with you.

I understand that this is a skill that takes some time to learn.

I know because I used to hate conflict. I used to be so afraid of it that I would give up on everything rather than rock the boat. I was the quintessential people pleaser. I never wanted anyone to be mad at me and I would give up on my dreams rather than upset anyone.

But this came with a dark side.  I used to sit back and wait for other people to grant me permission before I did things. If I thought something was a good idea, I’d bounce it off other people, and if they didn’t think it was a good idea, I would doubt myself and not do it.  However, then I would be angry and resentful because they wouldn’t “let” me have my way.

All of these are communications issues.

When you are really, really, really set on doing something, you need to communicate it effectively and hold your ground if people don’t agree with you.

If you’ve been wanting to start a business for a while, but you find that every time you mention it, your spouse is lukewarm on it, of your in-laws question why you would leave your well-paying job to go off on a half-baked idea like starting your own business, or if you go to a lender who questions the viability of your idea, you have to be able to communicate courageously.

It’s easy to take a challenge or disagreement as a sign to stop but getting friendly with conflict and being able to communicate through it gives you the ability to set your boundaries.

When you’re friendly with conflict, you can say, “I’m going to do this no matter what!”

And the best part?  Once you’ve practiced, you can say it without making anyone mad or creating the conflict you’re afraid of.

Let’s talk.  I know how hard it is to get friendly with conflict.  I know this topic defeats a lot of aspiring entrepreneurs before they even get started.  Don’t be one of them.

Go to my website at and set up a time for us to chat.  I can be a sounding board because I’ve gotten very friendly with conflict over the years. I don’t love it, and I don’t look for it, but I know how to handle it and I’m not afraid of it.

If you can say the same thing, then you’re ready to start your business. If you can’t, reach out to me and let me help you make a new friend.

About the author

Dr. Judy Morley has been described as a “human potential specialist.” Her years of experience in different arenas varies from being an advertising executive to a college professor to an executive to an entrepreneur and franchise owner.  Each of these positions has given her great insight into helping people find their authentic style of leadership.