Internal Conflict. What is it and how do we use it?

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Internal conflict, otherwise referred to as ‘Person vs Self’ and ‘Man vs Self’ is a term used most often in literature to describe the struggles that take place within a character’s mind. Dictionary provides a second definition of internal conflict as a mental struggle stemming from opposing wants and/or needs.

As highly intellectual beings, humans frequently have to make difficult decisions that prompt conflicting feelings and thoughts. From smaller issues such as whether to have something tasty or healthy for breakfast to much larger ones such as deciding whether we should devote ourselves to our careers or to our personal relationships. Internal conflict can have many aspects – emotional, intellectual, moral that we as people can all relate to. But is it possible to avoid it?

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In this video Person vs Self conflict has been described as occurring when physical limitations and ideas of right and wrong exist and most importantly with the existence of the soul. An immediate conclusion can be thus made that internal conflict is a completely natural part of living as a person. A human’s complicated nature serves for many questions and issues to come up during his or her personal development.

And it’s not just about who, but also about why. Why does a person react to particular events the way she/he does? Why does she/he navigate her surroundings that way? In this sense, internal conflict can be used to 1) understand a person’s deepest motivations and 2) to later see how the person’s actions differ from their intentions.

Yet since internal conflict is just that – internal – no one other than the person experiencing it rarely truly understands it or sees it for what it really is. Something that personal can perhaps be best utilized as a means for the individual to get to know their true self. And to know oneself is probably the most important thing in a person’s life. It is the key to an individual utilising their strengths and consequently making his or her circumstances work in his/her favour.

Following this train of thought, Person vs Self has the capacity to be Person-Finds-Self and Person-Helps-Self.

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Your internal conflict could be your blessing even when it feels hard or impossible to resolve. 

– Maria Tsaneva

What is your opinion on internal conflict? How do you believe it can best be used?

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Work Overload and Its Price

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Your boss has a superpower. You read this right. He or she possesses the extraordinary ability to give you extra work while simultaneously making you believe you’re meant to be doing that extra work.

It isn’t uncommon for an employee to be given additional work outside of their normal duties. The usual response to that is for the worker to take on the new workload without thinking whether or not they have the time or resources to do it.

If you are one of those people, your strong sense of duty combined with your eagerness to prove yourself at work could possibly be working against you. It has been explored that taking on more work than you have the time for lowers your productivity in individual tasks and stresses you out deeply which can in turn cause stress-induced illnesses like headaches and hypertension. Other effects of a heavy workload include employee-manager relationship issues, loss of motivation and possible aggressiveness at the work place.

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Many suggestions have been given on the topic of managing workload, including designating time for important projects, avoiding time-wasting chats with colleagues and working in a clean area.

Attempting to manage a heavy workload is admirable but is it always a successful strategy?Sooner or later the employee has to face the fact that they are not superhuman. (And that neither is their boss.)

The importance of negotiating your workload can not be overstated.

Negotiation gives plenty room for discussion – speak about your circumstances and recommend any solutions you can think off that do not involve your carrying the workload of your colleagues on your back. Highlight your time limitations and spare yourself a load of stress and burnout.

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Provided you communicate in an honest and open manner with your superior, you can ensure that you are not given tasks you can simply “handle” but tasks you execute better than any of your colleagues. In the end of the day, that will demonstrate your capabilities better than taking on a heavy workload. And you get to keep your sanity and the enjoyment of your job.

– Maria Tsaneva

If you have a personal experience connected to the topic or want to suggest tips for negotiating workload, please share in the comments below!

Negotiating for Equal Pay

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All around the world, the gender pay gap remains prevalent. In the US the gap can be as enormous as women making 62.5% of men’s earning for the same job. The BBC has recently highlighted that from graduation itself UK women make thousands less than their male counterparts. Furthermore, the gap appears to be worsening, with The Telegraph recently reporting that in the UK, women earn £423,390 less over the course of their careers than a male following an almost identical career path.

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The examples go on and on.

A study revealed the countries in which the gap is smallest, and interestingly enough, supposedly highly advanced countries such as the US and the UK are not among the top 10. But how can a country be considered so developed if it does not even know to put its working women on equal footing with its working men?

To say that there is a problem would be an understatement. But how should this problem be solved?

A book “Women don’t ask” suggests that the key to solving the issue is women not hesitating to ask for what they want. But should we blame women for not negotiating as fiercely as men do? Research suggests that women negotiating for pay are often seen as “too pushy”, whereas men negotiating is considered normal. With that sort of outlook adopted by employers, women can understandably find it difficult to ask for equal pay.

To urge women to go out and fight for what they deserve is not wrong. But it is wrong to question any doubts they might have but not question the circumstances that give reason to those doubts. In a world where most cultures collectively tell women to not come off as “a bitch” and to ask nicely, it’s wrong to suddenly tell women that it’s their fault that they make less than their male colleague who does the exact same job. In this manner, negotiation is a great tool to achieve the goal, but it is not the solution.

The solution, I think, is to start questioning a world in which women are offered less money than men at initial salary offering, before they even had a chance to demonstrate their skills and knowledge. To stop ignoring the problem and start actively protesting against it. To demand from our countries’ governments that equal pay be law. And if what you just read seems too much, to at least wonder:

Why don’t men and women already receive equal pay for equal work?

– Maria Tsaneva

Please, share your thoughts on the topic or on the content posted in the comment section below.