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Connecting through Conflict

November 20, 202324 min read

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In this week’s episode, I introduce you to Alison Armstrong.

Alison Armstrong’s exploration of human behavior began in 1991 with a decision to find out what brings out the best and worst in men. This naturally led to studying women’s behavior and making vital connections between the two. While fulfilling our need to understand “Why” people behave as they do, Alison offers practical, partnership-based alternatives to what we’re instinctively compelled to do. She (continues to give) gives millions of people access to more fulfilling lives, loving relationships, stronger families and productive organizations. Her live events, online curriculum, latest webinars and free offerings are available at

She will be discussing the following:

Conflict resolution and personal growth. (0:02)

Conflicts between personal values, preferences, and expectations in women. (6:18)

Parenting and personal growth. (12:24)

Gender differences in communication and relationship dynamics. (18:21)

Healing and empowering women through self-awareness and communication. (25:30)

Join me for this episode of Mommy Heal Thyself to explore ways to connect with our men and children through conflict.

(Note, this was transcribed using a transcription software and may not reflect the exact words used in the podcast)

Intro  0:00 

Welcome to Mommy Heal Thyself.  We featured guests that provide you with the tools, resources and strategies you need to say no to a life of pain and suffering all forms of preventable disease, toxic drugs and unnecessary surgeries. We hope to inspire you to boldly reclaim your ability to heal, and to serve ones to love.

Dr Michelle  0:02 

All righty, we're gonna begin in 321. Hello, my beautiful sisters. Thank you for joining me once again for another episode of mommy. Today I have a phenomenal, beautiful, beautiful, wise woman with us. Her name is Allison Armstrong. Now Ellison's exploration of human behavior began in 1991 with a decision to find out what brings the best and the worst out in men. Now as she went on this journey, this naturally led to studying women's behavior and making vital connections between the two. While fulfilling our need to understand why people behave they do. Now, Allison offers practical, partnership based alternatives in what we instinctively are compelled to do. She continues to give millions of people access to more fulfilling lives, loving relationships stronger families, and productive organizations. So ladies, you know, what we have been stressing in a lot of our different episodes is that we have to look at our relationships. There is no way that we can heal ourselves, body, mind, heart and spirit without first addressing our relationships. And sometimes that begins with connecting through conflict. A lot of times we want to run away from conflict. But here we have today, beautiful, beautiful Alison, who's going to show us the way give us some practical tips on what we can do to build those wonderful relationships that will help us in our healing journey. Thank you for being with us today. Allison.


Alison A  1:56 

You're You're welcome. I'm glad to be here. I feel a little challenged since I recently spent 10 hours on the subject of connecting through conflicts. But I'll give you some highlights and the way that you put it, Michelle, it's also vice versa that that too. We have to pay attention to our relationships. To heal ourselves. But we have to recall call restore, or make whole ourselves right in order to not be trying to suck out of other people. What's an insatiable need with in us and about six years ago, it just popped out of my mouth. honor yourself first or all is lost. And oh, this is so hard. It's so hard for men and for women. And men will honor the commitments they've made but they're focused on what they're dedicated to producing, but sacrifice who they really are. And women instinctively we're pulled to multitask. We're pulled to take care of everything. That's ugly, dirty, out of place, cranky, low energy, not feeling well. Like we're we're just let's just pull this right out ourselves. And so it makes it hard. It's it's not personal. There's nothing wrong with any of us. We're just battling with some human instincts. And once we're aware of them, then we can make some important choices. And how can I bring this up is because because the first conflicts are with ourselves. We have to work it out with ourselves and the course on our website called connecting through conflict, which I love to doing it and so I'm so glad I did $95 for the whole darn thing. And but it distinguishes four different types of conflicts and what usually happens is they're all tangled up with each other. And so when we're trying to, to talk to ourselves or talk to another person, we don't realize we're actually skipping from one kind of the conflict to another kind of conflict. It's hooked in and that's why it gets worse instead of like it was like pulling on a necklace. It's tangled, instead of getting some oxygen you know, spreading the parts apart where you can and getting some room and then and then you can see where the tangle happens. And so if you want Michelle, I'll just tell you the four types of conflicts if you want


Unknown Speaker  4:51 

one of those four types of conflicts. Absolutely.


Alison A  4:55 

Okay, so I'm going to do a little different order than I do in the course but so the the first type would be what I what I would call real values. And what I mean by real values it's it's not what was impressed upon us growing up in our family or in our culture, right or what we were taught in school, or in church were supposed to be our values. Right? But our real values, ones that we've examined, and we organize our lives around. And I'll come back to that when in terms of being a mom. And then there's what I would call verified needs. So the things that we've actually examined and seen that those needs when they're met have a huge benefit and when they're not met have a huge cost. So let's just take sleeping right asleep, has a huge benefit when you have enough sleep when you have plenty and plenty of sleep and even more than that all we gain all these capacities from enough sleep. And we lose capacities, right? We can't focus we can't be patient. We can't be compassionate. We can't be kind. We can't experience joy or happiness. I mean, that when it's huge it's just huge. What happens just so so the needs to pay attention to are the ones with the biggest benefits and been biggest costs and to zero in on them because we're never going to get everything we need. I promise you we'll never get everything. But we can get enough of what matters most if we're paying attention. Another area of conflict is preferences. And preferences are interesting because they are tied into how we know ourselves. They're tied into our identity. So the things that we prefer is one of the ways that we know we're ourselves and when we stopped preferring it we're like hmm, I don't like that anymore. I don't want to eat that anymore. They are now I want to eat this How did anyone eat this or, you know I behaviors and even the way our environments we actually are called to act on our preferences. Like no socks on the floor, for example. That ties into our instincts to remove that and we think we actually need there to be no socks on that floor but really the only benefit are no socks on the floors. We're not distracted by socks on the floor and mad at the person who left in there. But there's not a huge impact like with sleep for example, but we'll dedicate energy to picking up all the socks before we'll go to sleep. Great even when we're dead tired. So, so those two values needs preferences and then the last one I call a mischief maker. But if you but if and only if an atomic bomb is a mischief maker, it can be smaller can be huge. And the last one is expectations. We have conflicts with expectations of ourselves. We have conflicts with expectations of others, we have conflicts with their expectations of us and its compound. So our values, we may also expect that they're honored that they're known and honored without us having to do anything about expectation holds that expectation is anything that should it should be or it should not be without me doing anything about my husband should know how I take my coffee by now. Well, he doesn't have the same instincts that we do that have us know how a lot of people take their coffee. Because not only do we have preferences, we conform their preferences in order to be liked in order to survive, and men don't have it so they'll do what it takes to be respected in order to survive. And they'll sacrifice themselves for that. So just as a contrast, so so we have expectations that our values are known and honored that they're obvious. So of course that's what's important that our needs we shouldn't have to tell someone that we need something and we even expect we shouldn't need it. I shouldn't need too much sleep. I shouldn't need too much alone time. I shouldn't need to watch television should not need to zone out that's pathetic. But we do the way our brain is configured. If we don't have zone time, oh, we get too cranky and men don't understand some type. So there's expectations of needs being met with that is doing anything about it or that we shouldn't have them in the first place. There's and then there's even expectations that our preferences are dictated to because we're so compelled to dictate to others like I mentioned. So so we have conflicting expectations and then we have expectations, turning up the heat, because there's not only a value which is an expression of who I really am. That's not being honored. But I'm entitled to be be honored. So you're misbehaving which means you have to either be fixed, trained or punched those are the three opposite fix. You train you are punishing train your kids, your mother failed to do that. Right. So then as moms, we want to train our kids to be so great. It's cuckoo. So don't


Dr Michelle  10:44 

give her hills or areas of conflict. Which one do you find is the most common that you see in working with women?


Alison A  10:56 

Oh, golly, they're all coming. They're all common and they're all completely normal. And men and women and such a tangle. What I already said about preferences is more prevalent in women values. Men are tend to be much more in touch with their values and their in every opinion they have. It includes their values plus what they would call facts. Information from trusted sources. But I would say as a as a mother right to have three children. And as a mother, the biggest conflict is in choosing what we're going to honor as the most important and because we can't honor all the things we think are important they conflict with each other. And so we have to decide, and there's two sides. There's two sides of it. One is decide as a mom, what is it that if you're that you'll you'll be in good shape. You'll be proud of yourself, and you'll be most likely to be the mom that you want to be. So when I examined this for myself, the answer was patience. And and I went looking for Okay, so it's a natural thing. When someone intends to be patient, okay, be patient. We, we look in our body for the patients. We look and see and it might be Oh, I'm fresh out of patience. Okay, let's pretend to be patient. Pretend patients isn't even close. I pretend love and pretend compassion. They're not even close. But we'll do it. We'll pretend it because because we have. We think we're going to survive by being perfect and we don't want to be caught being imperfect. But real patients I started hunting for what puts patients in my body? What puts the feeling of patience in my body. And I used to for years to couple decades paid attention to what fills that tank. What fills your patients tank what fills your compassion tank what fills your love tank what fills your playfulness tank? What puts you full of play right fills your play tank, which means you can have fun doing anything. Not just fun things you can have fun doing anything. When your play tanks empty. You can't even have fun doing things that are supposed to be fun, right? So so so you look for what puts the feeling in your body. And I could quickly see that when I had a good night's sleep. I woke up with the feeling of patients full in my body if I had enough sleep and that that patients would run out by about 830 at night. And then I wasn't patient anymore. And the value of that was first of all, I communicated this to my kids how important it was to be patient for them and what gave me patience. And one of my favorite memories is my son is probably seven and so his little sister would have been two and the baby sister wouldn't have been born yet. Or even. I would have been pregnant with her and I heard him saying outside my bedroom door. If we wait till it's a salve that she'll be patient it's just like, I gave them the keys to the queendom I gave them and I kept doing that I kept teaching my children how to cause me to be the mom they need. And they learned if I they asked me could they do something? My I'd say okay, I have to think about that if they pressed me so you can have a no immediately. Yes is take time. And one time we were in the car and the kids asked if they could go the movies and I looked in the rearview mirror and my son was sitting in between his two sisters and he was going like this because they've learned I needed silence to think I needed to be alone didn't really think about it. And that if they let me I would be thinking how can I do that? I want that sort of figured out I want to give him everything and this is how men are by the way. Men want to give us what we need. They want to give us what puts a smile on our face what makes us happy, but they need time to wrap their heads around date. And we usually don't give it to them. And so I would say values for like as a mom what you want for all your kids. And then I figured out early on that each of my kids needed a different mom. They didn't need me to be exactly the same with them and provide the same thing for them which is normal to decide what people need and provide it without checking with them. So I started paying attention to them individually. And okay, so my son, he didn't need me to teach him the right thing. He always knew the right thing. But he needed me to teach him why it mattered to do it. He needed support in doing it instead of what would be fun. And my my older daughter were so much alike and I was just watching her and I was like the only way I could get to it was like what do I wish my mom had given me? And in the answer was it just was right there a safe harbor that I caught so much of a storm in life and such a rabble rouser so much mischief all the time. But I wish there was a safe place to go when I was disconnected from myself where I was frazzled when I you know, I just wanted a safe harbor and so I decided to be that for my daughter a safe harbor. And it didn't matter how after that how much she tried to wind me up. No, I was gonna be safe for her. And then my youngest was like, it was I had my my job was to help her have fun. She was so serious and this intense student and wanting to learn everything. And my job was to help her have fun and so Friday afternoon, I would play hooky for more. And she and I would go to the movies. And she you get to pick the movies and we I mean she still does it. We'd snuggle in the movies, we would hold hands. We put the armrest up, we'd hug she leaned up against me and we'd snuggle and we'll crack up watching this movie together.


Dr Michelle  18:21 

So so what I'm hearing from you is that it's really important to identify what the other person in the relationship needs and to respond accordingly. So now when we look at our relationship with our husbands, what do you find is a common mistake that we as women make in dealing with conflict as it pertains to our husbands.


Alison A  18:48 

Oh, golly. Okay, so the most calming after root of so many troubles, is assuming that he's like us assuming that a man is a kind of woman and just needs to be trained to be more in touch with his feelings, trained to talk about his emotions are demanded to talk about his emotions needs to be you know, interrupted from that focus to get involved with other people and that when he's upset we need to sue the hip. We need to say everything's gonna be okay. And we should pat him you know on the arm or move me on the head is gonna be all right her knee and so he goes out. We're really upset. Not knowing that when men are upset the epinephrine in their body makes their skin so sensitive that our touch feels like fire. And, and so the biggest thing we need to do is not project our needs onto them and not assume we know what they need, and instead, ask, it's best to ask when it's not happening. So honey, when you're frustrated, you're trying to fix something and you're frustrated. What's the best thing I can do? He'll probably say go away. When you're upset when you're upset with me, and something we're talking about, what's the best thing I can do? Leave me alone. And is there anything you need from me that you've given up on getting? letting me finish the sentence without being interrupted? Yeah, yeah. You can actually change the dynamic of your whole relationship just by doing the opposite of what you're compelled to do. And which includes interrupting. They'll say things here if they but what about or will you interrupt to say, Oh, I absolutely agree. And they, they're literally like a train that's been thrown off the track. And we think they're superficial because they won't say anything else after the act. But it's because they, they, we caught waiting for the well. You ask a man a question, start counting to 31st. He's got to commit to the question. He's got to think about the answer and then he's got to start telling you that takes time. It may take 30 seconds for him just to say, I got to think about that. But if you wait, right, and then he says, like the first sentence instead of interrupting, if he pauses, count to 30 again, and keep counting to 30 every time he pauses until he says that's all I have to say about that. Most women have never heard a man say that, because we've never waited long enough. And if you want to hear what a man feels, if you want him to tell you about his emotions, that's all the way at the bottom of the well. And that's why we never hear about them because we want them to be at the top of the well like they are with us how I feel about somebody who I think it's just right there immediate not done. Then there were opposite sexes. We have a and we have opposing instincts and and then anything he tells you, you got to not tell anybody else. You got to not reveal him to someone else. He told you not your best friend. And you got to not ever use it against him. Especially if he tells you how he feels like I love you. Well, if you loved me, you do this. That's called using it against them. Can you see how it goes back to expectations? If you really loved me, you would?


Dr Michelle  22:55 

Yeah. Yeah. And it reminds me of Gary Chapman's Bible and five love languages, you know, in terms of us expecting them to communicate with the Senate to show us their love the way we would do that. You know, so, yeah, I'm telling you, I feel guilty of all the things you have. What makes


Alison A  23:19 

it worse worse Michelle in in assists. Really worth noting is that amongst women. One of the ways that we show and experience appreciation is reciprocity. And we have a precision to our reciprocity. So if you fix me dinner, I could reciprocate by taking you out to it to a nice dinner. But if you fix me dinner and then I fix you lunch, it's gonna miss right so we have this precision in our reciprocity. And we in women are very sensitive to it. So we think by giving a man what we want, he'll give it back. Like if, if you start waiting for the well a man could talk to you for an hour or more. And even say, I can't believe I'm telling you all this and but we'll think that, you know, after an hour now it's my turn. Now you're going to listen to me for an hour. No, he's going to be pumped by being listened to by you. And he's gonna take that energy and use it, which is how men show appreciation. They take it in use it. So you know, they appreciate the sandwich because they ate it. They didn't throw it away and buy something else. They ate it. They didn't make you a sandwich back. Right? And if the same thing happens with compliments, when a man pays us a compliment, he wants us to take it in use it. He wants us to let it in and be like, empowered. Wow. Thank you. That's all he wants out. of it. He doesn't want us to say, Oh, and you look beautiful, too. It's like, no. So we both can you see we expected the opposite sex to do what we do and so we think or modeling for the other person when it's it's not happening. It's disconnected. And so we actually can't just model our love language. I love Gary Chapman's work. It it's one of the best things to ask your kids. I only regret I didn't ask them sooner. I yea I would have had a different life with my son if I'd asked him sooner. And so yeah, I can you tell this where I said we could do this for four days.


Dr Michelle  25:57 

I can tell you and I'm so grateful for you being able to share all of those key insights that we keep tripping on as women that creates so much angst in our relationships and subsequently, it creates that angst within us. You know, we start to personalize it and internalize it and it affects our health and our well being and then that in turn just loops around and affects our children and affects our husband and just it's a vicious cycle. So I thank you for so much of what you've said. And ladies I'm going to be putting into the show notes the link to Allison's website because on her website is a plethora of valuable free resources. I mean, usually I asked Hey, can you give us one free resource but her entire website is full of resources, including her podcasts and I encourage you to go there and delve deep into the different areas that will help you on your journey as you continue to heal yourself. Any last words Allison anything that I have missed that you feel is really key to helping our women to live that life filled with passion and purpose and power and protection? And peace?


Alison A  27:18 

Well, first I would say I don't have a podcast. I I show it's


Unknown Speaker  27:28 

many other ones, you know,


Alison A  27:29 

I don't want to be in charge. I don't want to be in charge of something else. I would say. Just as a recommendation besides what we talked about with connecting through conflict would be the Queen's code and especially the audiobook of the Queen's code. And you can listen to it on our mobile app. And it will it says it saves marriages and it's incredible for single women with or without children. And it even is amazing for men to find out how they're motivated and the goodness of their motivations even if when they miss the mark. And, and what causes women to to diminish that what causes them to women to emasculate them and yeah, so men can start becoming having a better reaction to being emasculated. That's empowering for them and for us. So that's a good place to start.


Dr Michelle  28:32 

So I'm I'm going to include also a link directly to the Queen's code to information about the Queen's code so that you ladies can access that. And once again, thank you so very much Allison for joining us today. And ladies I will see you in our next episode of mommy heal thyself. Bye


Unknown Speaker  28:55 

Thank you.


Dr Michelle  28:56 

Oh, thank you. I mean, I felt so guilty of all the reporting stopped. Oh my god, oh my god, I do that I do that. I do. Yeah,


Alison A  29:08 

it means you're human and you're female. That's all it means.


Dr Michelle  29:15 

But I really love what you said about that. 30 seconds. I'm going to try that that's that was to me the biggest aha moment in what she said. Oh, you mean I have to wait 30 seconds. I mean, if I wait five seconds, I figured okay, you're done. Can I jump in now? Right. Yeah, wait a little bit longer. Yeah.


Alison A  29:37 

Most men will come in at about 18 If you just like one 1000 2000 3000 You don't wander off and do something meanwhile, just stay there. Wait, stay interested. Stay curious. Sometimes it takes longer, like I rarely ask my son questions. They consider questions to be an interrogation in instead.

Closing: Thank you for tuning in for this episode of Mommy Heal Thyself, if you liked what we're doing here, please share subscribe, like us and leave a comment. Your feedback is very much appreciated.

Transcribed by


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Dr Michelle Gamble DN

DR. MICHELLE GAMBLE, DN is an author, educator, mentor, and speaker who specializes in assisting persons with chronic illness to heal themselves so they can break free from pain and frustration and live with power, protection, promise, purpose, promise, prosperity, and peace. She has been a professional educator for over 25 years and a natural health care provider for over 15 years. Dr. Gamble is also the mother of five children. She travels globally and around the country speaking and consulting with individuals and groups.

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