What you mean is difference

All couples fight. All friends fight. Family fights. Fighting is okay. Or so we say.

I have two best friends, and I have never fought with either. I used to think about what this unspoken understanding we have for each other such that we don’t fight means for us in the long run.

I imagined the day we fight I would slither away from confrontation like a snake slithering away from cold chasing warmth. I imagined how, instead of being calm and neutral, I would be defensive between cold and hot polarities.

In my defence, I imagine fighting as a mutual attack, and naturally, the obvious response to an attack is to flight or fight. And I am a flighty girl who can’t stand fights.


Interpersonal conflict/fight:

A conflict involving two or more people with different views, values, expectations, attitudes and personalities toward a specific problem.

A natural outcome of human interaction that is sometimes aggravated by ego.

For my friends and I, the notion that people have different views, values, expectations, attitudes and personalities applies to us as individuals and together.

Humanely so, we also have egos. I don’t know about them being aggravated since we hardly fight.

Most of the time, we have intellectual, abstract conversations that thrive on opinions. We dissect discourses and take on different stances on trending matters.

By the end of our conversations, one of two things usually happens. We either lay the discussion to rest with someone saying ‘your take actually makes more sense, I’ve never thought of it like that‘ or ‘Listen, I hear you but I just don’t see that applying in my world‘ – And that’s usually okay.

For this to fly, it is crucial for our discussions to not stem from a point of wanting to be right and have the last say. They have to be about expanding perspectives without feeling bad, even if the next person agrees with you or not.

The Ego

  1. Ego – a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance {everyday definition}

If my friends and I had aggravated egos, resistance would interplay in our conversations. In the end, our self importance would not allow us to be okay with not having the last say, or with the next person politely acknowledging our stance but not identifying with it.

This would naturally lead to fighting. Aggravated by fragile egos, our interactions would be hostile.

2. Ego – the part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity. {psychoanalysis definition}

The psychoanalysis ego definition moves away from highlighting self-importance. Instead, the assertion is that the ego is part of your personality, making part of 3 parts that factor into your personality.

  1. ID (pleasure principle)
  2. Ego (reality principle)
  3. Super ego (moral principle)

According to psychoanalytical psychology, the id pressures your ego (pleasure) and the superego (morality). When your ego cannot cope with the pressure coming from these two principles, anxiety arises.

The id and the superego pressure the ego when you are consciously making contact with the physical world, and this happens every day. Whatever you perceive while interacting with the physical world makes way to the material in your preconscious area, the place where the ego transpires.

Model of personality structure

Just below the ego is the id with unconscious material. Material here is difficult to retrieve. And because id is a pleasure principle, the thinking-process here demands immediate gratification of it’s urges i.e. deeply desired fantasies, illogical wants and irrational behaviour.

In a fight, your ego stands as the decision-maker while also mediating between id’s desires and the true reality of the fight. Amidst this, we also have the super ego. As the moral principle, the super ego distinguishes between socially acceptable behaviour and unacceptable behaviour.

What is acceptable and unacceptable to you could very much go back to your earliest taught behaviours and instilled moral compass. This reflects your social norms. Which brings us to individuality.


The term individuality speaks of the character of a person. It is the distinguishing traits from one person to the next, which brings me to you.

In a fight, you and the person you are fighting with strive to make your own points within a collective consciousness (reality) made up by both of you.

Yet, in this space of collective consciousness is individual consciousness and personal unconsciousness, which, for each fighter, has a fight to win.

And because our consciousness is deeply intertwined with all complexities that make us who we are, it is almost always hard for a person in a fight to share the understanding an opponent is trying to make, especially when they have an aggravated ego.

So, you see, it’s not so much that you need to win against the person you are fighting. It is so much that you need to affirm your own personal consciousness.

Two things can be right at the same time

Remember what I said about my friends?

By the end of our conversations, one of two things usually happens. We either lay the discussion to rest with someone saying ‘your take actually makes more sense, I’ve never thought of it like that’ or ‘Listen, I hear you but I just don’t see that applying in my world’ – And that’s usually okay.

Besides our well-minded egos, what makes it okay is this notion that two things can be right at the same time.

I can hate the world, and you could love the world at the same time. Your reasons don’t cancel out mine vice versa. It is alright for people to be opposite each other’s viewpoints. Fighting is rarely the catalyst needed. What people want is acknowledgment and understanding. People want to be seen and heard.

If you take a few steps backwards, expand your horizon and listen to your intense need to be right and make a point. You see that the person you’re fighting is not too different from you. They too know something and feel something that makes them stand by what they believe.

I truly believe that what makes my friends and I rarely fight is the understanding and acceptance we have for each other’s differences.

What you mean is all couples have differences. Friends have differences. Family has differences. Differences are okay.

And to quote an iconic tweet.. “I don’t support all bitches. Some bitches are dumb”. I will fight you. ?

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