Search
  • My Nguyen Nguyen, LMHC

Balancing Your See-Saw

When avoiding external conflict, we are not always removing the concern so much as absorbing it internally. It can feel safer to bring it inward when we consider that others’ reactions or comments are out of our control, which makes us feel vulnerable. But by not disturbing the outer peace, we are at times risking our inner peace.


Consider conflict and safety as a see-saw balance between our internal and external settings. Avoiding conflict in our external environments may result in increasing conflict and decreasing safety internally, and can manifest as negative self talk, guilt, shame, anxiety, and more. When we appropriately keep external conflict external, we are reinforcing our internal safety and building trust within ourselves.


Imagine the conflict we may experience when another person’s actions bother us—do we tell them, do we ignore it? What are the consequences of each choice? By having a balanced understanding of our internal/external see-saw, we are able to navigate difficult situations by adjusting our see-saw to compensate where there is more or less conflict or safety.


There isn’t a simple rule for when to address or strategically avoid a concern, but consider checking your balance when weighing your options on your see-saw.

My Nguyen Nguyen, LMHC, is a licensed mental health counselor, specializing in work related to intimate partner violence and multiculturalism. My received her master's degree in counseling from Boston College, where she continues to contribute to publications and add to her now seven years of experience working with survivors of domestic and sexual violence. My's social justice values inform her intersectional work, particularly around systemic oppression and for clients identifying with minority backgrounds.


Thank you for your interest in our Monday Mental Health Moment. Join our mailing list for a weekly newsletter on various mental health topics, and information about upcoming groups or workshops. We promise no spam!

Recent Posts

See All

College Student Mental Health

This time a year ago, the prospect of the academic year looked quite different. Perhaps you were a senior in high school, making your final decision about which school you’d be attending for your firs

New Year, Same You

At the start of the new year, conversations buzz with topics of change and self-improvement. Everybody is sharing their resolution for the new year, and the mantra “new year, new you” is embedded in t

The Courage of the Bushido

The Bushido is the code of conduct used by the Japanese samurai. From this philosophy, Stephanie Russell writes a book called...

© Looking Glass Counseling, 2020. All rights reserved.

255 Elm Street, Suite 201

Somerville, MA, 02144

(617) 702-9131

  • Facebook - White Circle