Emergence Home PageEmergence Therapy Articles IndexTeaching and Learning Articles IndexHealthy Relationships Articles IndexWeight and Fitness Articles IndexAddictions and Recovery Articles IndexLove and Forgiveness Articles IndexHuman Nature Articles Index
Thoughts On Why Men Fight
(what is a fight and what is conflict?)

I ask this question to provoke your curiosity; why do we fight? My thoughts?

We fight because it is human nature to fight.  Our collective history is the history of war.  Conflict is in our blood.  Pick up today’s paper and I guarantee you will find at least one article about someone who is fighting somewhere about something.  What we fight for is infinitely variable. But what never changes is that we fight. 

How about the saize of these fights? Are they all big battles?

The scale of the fight can range from an argument with a lover to a country fighting a war.  And while I do not believe it is possible, or even desirable, to stop fighting, I do believe we can change the nature of how we fight.

An Inter-Personal Martial Art...

Two people walk a dusty country road, on a warm, sunny day.  Together they walk until they come to a crossroad. One person believes they should go left.  The other believes they should go right.  A conflict has arisen, two needs, two separate roads.  Moments before they we connected in friendship, enjoying the journey.  Now they begin to fight.  The conflict of needs begins to fight against each other to get met.  One needs to go one way, the other needs to go another.  Cases are made, reasons are offered, frustration builds. The connection they shared dissolves in a struggle to have their needs met.  The urge to punish rises on the waves of frustration and accusations are hurled.  Connection gives way to the punishing dictates of blame.  They can no longer see the friend who they shared the road, only the enemy with whom they are fighting.  Communication is riddled with misunderstanding.  The fight begins to take on a life of its own. Words become sword and shield.  Friendship and love give way to defensiveness and resentment.  Insanity leads reason into war.

One person notices that he can no longer see the beauty in his friend with whom he is fighting.  Seeing the rage in his heart, he stops trying to punish his friend.  He begins to wage war against his urge to punish and struggles to value connecting over all else.  He leaves the place of punishment, puts down his weapons and steps toward his friend.  He says to him, “I no longer wish to hurt you. Can we please fight to connect with each other rather than punish each other? We need to work this out; together.”  It is a brave move, for he is vulnerable to attack, but this is what makes his statement so strong.  Imagine fighting someone and in the second after you punch them they say to you, “You are more important than what we are fighting over, I will no longer fight a punishing fight against you, but I will fight to make a connection with you.” 

The Promise: Learning the Art of Conscious Conflict

Conscious Conflict is the art honoring your adversary.  This means that you respect   

Punish: To inflict injury for wrong-doing.  Often the punishment takes the form of insults, sarcasm, pushing, punching, etc.  How many fights or disagreements have you had that did not devolve into a punishing match where the urge to hurt one another eclipses the connection of the relationship? Have you ever felt connected with someone and had the desire to punish?  Did you know that you can only hurt another being when you are disconnected? Anytime you are filled with the desire to hurt anyone whether through words or deeds, you have lost the connection with the person you are fighting. 

Ever see animals or young children wage war?  They fight, but rarely do they fight to the death.  I have never seen one seek revenge.  It is not in them to do this.  Nature does not punish. Only as are minds develop are we burdened by the urge to punish for wrongs done to us. 

What is more important than the well-being of your adversary?  Especially if the adversary is your friend, child, partner, spouse, co-worker, teacher, etc.  Which if you think about it, these are the people we most likely to have conflicts with.  If you are like me, then you have not been in the gladiator’s arena lately, but I am sure you have recently fought with friends and family.  Ever notice how even the smallest conflict can devolve into a struggle to blame and punish the other person.  Did your fight improve the quality of your relationship?  Are the two of you proud of your fight and what it accomplished?       

Imagine what it would be like if the conflicts in your relationships made them stronger and safer.  What if, instead of punishing one another, you fought to connect with each other in your struggle to get your needs met?  What would happen to war if we learned how to confront our urge to punish another for transgressions against us?

Where ever there is a conflict of needs there is conflict...

Can you see that I am fighting now?

I am fighting to change how we fight.  Specifically, I am fighting to make conscious the urge to punish that makes our fights so dangerous and, at times lethal.  The cost of conflict can not be accurately expressed in words or numbers.  How varied are they ways we suffer from our inability to fight consciously?

 I am so very tired of reading about how children suffer from war. My heart is sick with the price they pay. From Darfur, to Gaza, to Baghdad, to Sri Lanka, to Vietnam, to Main Street, USA; children are dying and suffering from the wars that rage.  What could possibly be so important that makes the death of a child acceptable?  It doesn’t matter to me whether it is by accident or if it is deliberate; my heart is sick from the images of children surviving and dying in war zones. 
My heart is weary of the death, and destruction of children and families. 
But I am just one man, what can I do?

We can confront our urge to punish another for hurting me or someone we love.  We can confront our urge to punish ourselves for our mistakes or our weakness.

Utilizing a combination of Emergence Personality Theory, a revolutionary approach to human nature developed by Steven Paglierani, and the Tai Chi of the Two Directions, an Emergence-based adaptation of Tai Chi Chuan, that utilizes self-mastery as the path to mastering martial arts.  You will learn:

  • Learn to stay conscious in a fight.
  • Learn to neutralize a conflict by connecting with your enemy.
  • Fight the ones you love without harming them.
  • Use conflict as a means to improve the quality of your relationship.
  • Understand the nature of conflict.
  • Find out why you fight with yourself and/or others.
  • Disarm your urge to punish others and/or yourself.
  • See how the experience of aloneness precedes all conflict.
  • Get your needs met without punishing conflicts.
  • Learn to recognize the stages of a conscious conflict.
  • Learn how to recognize if a relationship is dead, or worth fighting for.
  • End the incessant rounds of unproductive arguing.
  • Learn how to recognize the urge to punish and how it drives most conflicts and every war.


Steven Paglierani

Finding Personal Truth BookI: Solving the Mind-Body Mystery

Solving the
Mind-Body Mystery

Order Now Online

download free excerpt

Finding Personal Truth Book II: Solving the Mystery of Who You Are

Human Nature

Order Now Online

download free Unraveling Human Nature excerpt

Finding Personal Truth Book II: Solving the Mysteries of the Universe

Solving the
of the Universe

Emergence Alliance Logo

Weight Loss

E-mail comments or questions

This page last updated on
June 17, 2006

Emergence Questions of the Week: Thoughts on Why Men Fight

© 2006, Steven Paglierani. All rights reserved