<< Some things I’ve (recently) learned about smoothing the sharp edges of conflict >>

Equanimity Equation
2 min readJun 21, 2022


I have a fear that I (unwittingly) attract conflict.

Until recently, I was in a seismic fracture with a very close friend. That led to more fractures, more conflicts. It felt life-altering.

Someone on a work project got really upset with me this weekend. A near-stranger conflict.

My sister is refusing to have me in her life right now. Another conflict. A bound-by-blood, goes-to-the-core kinda conflict.

I have a spiritual therapist named Ernest. I asked him about Jess (aka ‘sister’), about what to do about how to resolve our conflict impasse.

He offered this: our feelings don’t resolve because we get more information — they resolve when they are acknowledged and accepted.

That felt like a revelation.

I recently went into a ‘lets repair’ convo w a friend. I was nervous. I had a story we’d been in conflict before, and it hadn’t ended in any kinda ‘resolution’ that stuck — cause we’d find our way back to conflict within months or years, on a rinse n repeat cycle.

The repair conversation did feel different. We felt different.

This is what we did*:

1. We owned our stuff / our part of the conflict

2. We acknowledged the impact we’d had on each other

3. We validated what the other was feeling

…and we apologized from places that felt real and hard-won and from deep within us.

What had felt crunchy and hard w her, now feels like love, and appreciation. And I feel pride, that we’ve become people who could show up how we did.

In the work-related conflict from this past weekend, I found her in a quiet moment, listened for the emotion underneath her story, reflected her, validated her, and apologized. There was an immediate shift, we hugged, and for the rest of the weekend interactions w her felt good.

The current conflict chapter w Jess is being written; we’re not talking. I have a story cuz we’re blood, we’ll eventually figure it out — which takes her for granted in all the ways. In the meantime, she’s the catalyzing material for me to look at my stuff, to learn, to go deeper in to those hardest to reach places — cause resolving w her really is my Everest. Ahhhh family, amiright?

If any of this resonates and you want further resources / credits:

- The ‘3 steps’ is from Ernest. Click HERE to learn more about his work.

- Non Violent Communication changed how I speak, and thus operate in the world. You can read more HERE.

Journal q’s, if you feel called to go deeper:

1. What conflict, if any, are you ready to release? How do you know?

2. What’s conflict taught you? How do you know?

If you feel called to share what you’ve written, I’d love to receive — send to allie@equanimityequation.com



Equanimity Equation

Currently exploring at the intersection of experience design, community + inner work.