Conflict and Creativity

Creativity and conflict may sound like a strange partnership but they often go hand in hand.
Conflict and Creativity
Gema Sánchez Cuevas

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Gema Sánchez Cuevas.

Written by Okairy Zuñiga

Last update: 21 December, 2022

“Creativity requires the courage to let go of uncertainty.” 

-Erich Fromm-

When are you at your most creative? Is it when someone tells you that your idea is really original and outstanding or when they find a problem with your proposal? It’s been demonstrated that the easier it is to think of an idea, the more correct it seems to be. In fact, there’s a popular saying that claims that lies that are repeated many times end up being believed. Thus, the more you repeatedly defend a position, the more you believe it to be true.

Why? Because you take other people as filters of the truth.

You tend to think that if no one has dared to discredit you, it’s because they agree with you. However, there may be many more reasons why you haven’t been criticized. For instance, perhaps they’re afraid of hurting you or want to keep you happy. Alternatively, they may not have a clue about the topic you’re dealing with or they don’t see it as that important and worthy of starting a dispute over. Nonetheless, you mentally add these people as defenders of your ideas.

A representation of creativity and personal development.

Kindness and comfort zone

You must’ve heard about the comfort zone. It’s that space in which you feel comfortable. It’s present in all areas of your life. Nevertheless, one of the big problems with staying in it is that you don’t move forward. As a matter of fact, if your social, work, or personal groups avoid open criticism, they also sacrifice debate and deep discussions. In the end, although you’ll have a harmonious group, it’ll be less productive and original.

You often don’t criticize because you’re afraid of hurting the people you love. For example, say your child has a school project to carry out. They’ve been asked to write an original story and when they ask for your opinion you tell them it’s perfect. In reality, though, you know that they’ve spelled some words wrong and that the story itself is nothing more than an adapted version of The Three Little Pigs.

Nevertheless, you don’t tell them that they need to improve and change because, in your eyes, they’re only small and they’ve probably done their best. Nevertheless, their teacher will make an objective criticism. This will confuse them since, as far as the people they know best in the world were concerned (their parents) they did it well.

This happens in all aspects of life and it certainly isn’t a bad thing to want to protect your loved ones. However, it’s good to know that there are times when it can be extremely positive to point out certain mistakes.

Important aspects of criticism

 When you receive criticism you should remember that:

Conflict and confrontation can create better ideas. That’s because, when you listen to others’ points of view, you have the possibility of improving certain aspects you initially weren’t so strong on.

  1. You shouldn’t take criticism as a personal attack. Most criticism, whether it’s good or bad, is intended to improve something in particular and you’re not, as a rule, being questioned as a person. In the rare instances where this is the case, ignore it and use your skills of assertiveness.
  2. Passive-aggressive criticism doesn’t really work. As with the previous point, if the criticism is really passive-aggressive, then it’s not going to be useful at all. Therefore, discard it and don’t let it unleash a cycle of negative thoughts as these will damage you more at the end of the day.
  3. Criticism should focus only on the subject it deals with, avoiding unconnected attacks. This doesn’t mean that when you’re participating in a conversation you won’t sometimes get annoyed. However, if, at any point, you feel like you’re losing control, take some time to cool down.

Criticism can be difficult to accept, especially if the criticizer isn’t particularly good at it. This is also true with self-criticism. The first thing you should do is: determine if the person criticizing you is important to you and if they possess the knowledge to carry out a good analysis. Then, before discarding any opinion, analyze it and ascertain if it’s really worthwhile.

The importance of creativity in daily life

Creativity is the ability to produce new and unique ideas and products. It gives you the opportunity to see, present, and explain your own perspective.

When thinking about creativity, most contextualize it only in the world of art. However, creativity is used in every part of your life, all the time. Creativity configures you and makes you unique.

Use your gift, be aware of it, and apply it to your life. Putting it to work doesn’t cost any money, yet it’ll sharpen your brain and also train it to come up with some surprising and original solutions.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.