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Journal 05/23/14

I’ve been teaching conflict resolution classes for several years now but that doesn’t spare me from all the conflicting relationships in my life. What is important is for individuals to realize that conflict is a natural part of life, the next step is to identify what the triggers are in situations that escalate and become a negative spiral and those that are dangerous patterns such as abusive or violent behavior. I recently came across an article on the Internet, telling folks to “cut out people from your life” that have a “toxic impact” on your life. This self help article was full of so much bias that it really gave me pause.  We have so many people who are struggling from depression, mental illness, stressful financial situations and hurting in other ways, they want a quick fix to solve their emotional problems, so looking at Google or Facebook seems like the way to go. What frightens me is that it is so easy to put everything in a box, generalize, stereotype, and follow advice of these types of articles, without thinking through a particular situation. I recently learned about a friend who had joined a cult because she had joined some online group and fell into what messages she was reading. Another friend left her husband and family to “go find” herself because she was tired of following society’s rules and lastly a third person stopped communicating with her parents because she had read a lot about repressed memories and was convinced that her family had lied to her about her childhood. These are all serious situations and I’m not suggesting that one shouldn’t research on the Internet. I’m cautioning on making life altering decisions based on a book or article. Life is much more complex and so are human relationships. Seek professional help if it’s necessary, seek a medical diagnosis if symptoms aren’t improving- this is the down side of technology- 

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