About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
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“I still haven’t made up my mind whether I shall publish it all. Some people are so humorless, so uncharitable, and so absurdly wrong-headed, that one would probably do far better to relax and enjoy life than worry oneself to death trying to instruct or entertain a public which will only despise one’s efforts, or at least feel no gratitude for them. Most readers know nothing about canon law. Many regard it with contempt and find everything heavy going that isn’t completely lowbrow. Some are so grimly serious that they disapprove of all humor. Others come to different conclusions every time they stand up or sit down. They seize upon your publications, as a wrestler seizes upon his opponent’s hair, and use them to drag you down, while they themselves remain quite invulnerable, because their barren pates are completely bald, so there’s nothing for you to get hold of.”
— St. Thomas More to Peter Gilles, 1516

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Dealing with Conflict
published 6 June 2013 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

HAVE been reading a biography of the famous woman psychoanalyst Karen Horney. Here is a summary of what she wrote and taught about conflict:

She is writing not only about conflicts with others but also about conflicts within themselves.

When there is a conflict here are 4 ways some people feel about it:

1. The compliant personality is too dependent on others to assert themselves for fear of losing love.

2. The aggressive type embraces conflict in order to deny dependency and makes others distant by anger.

3. Moving away from the real self, which has virtues and faults, by creating an idealized image of the self and always having to be perfect and right. This person seeks praise and admiration all the time. Or, one can move away from all ideals and insist that one is always bad and try to whip oneself into perfection. This is also narcissistic because it presumes that if I try even harder I could be perfect!

4. To blame others for all conflicts.

The remedy in Horney therapy is to get in touch with the real self. As Christians we would have other ways of opening to God’s grace on these kind of extremes. However, we don’t usually beg for God’s graces in these areas if we aren’t aware of the negative way we are dealing with things. So I find these descriptions from psychologists helpful as a step to asking for grace and, sometimes if the conflicts are severe enough, seeking psychological and/or spiritual counsel.