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External Sources and False Conflict

Harrison Barnes
By Sep 28,2022
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There is always a third party of some kind at the root of the conflicts in your life. Conflicts with others are an inevitable part of your life and career. When you analyze the conflicts in your life, you will often find that they are unjustified and created by others rather than by your own internal issues. When you identify a conflict in your life, determine whether the source is internal or external to you; once you identify the source, you will be able to quickly resolve these conflicts and remove impediments to your own career.

When I was growing up, I always noticed a fascinating thing with my elder stepsister and many of the girls I knew. As I grew older, I saw my girlfriends repeat this pattern.

Once a girl would get a boyfriend, and as the girl started spending less time with her friends, her friends would eventually instigate some kind of conflict between the girl and her boyfriend. They might call her with a negative rumor, or they would fish for negative information about the boy and pass it along. They would inevitably find reasons to criticize the boy and would create some sort of problem. Her friends would want her companionship and would generally grow to resent the girl for not being available. The girl’s friends would often create a divide between the girl and the boy–sufficient enough to cause a breakup.

When I was in college, there was one weekend when my girlfriend had traveled out of state with the tennis team. Before I met my girlfriend, she had always done everything with her friend, who was also her roommate. The two spent an amazing amount of time together. On this particular Friday evening, I was standing on the front porch of a building where there was a big party. My girlfriend’s best friend came up to me and said: “I am afraid to sleep in the apartment alone with Rebecca gone. Can you sleep next to me in my room? I am very afraid to sleep alone without her there.”

My girlfriend traveled with the tennis team every few weeks and this girl had always been fine. This was a ruse she was using in order to create a problem. I did not do this because I knew sleeping next to my girlfriend’s roommate would result in a huge conflict in my relationship. It might have even ended the relationship, and the roommate would have gotten my girlfriend back eventually as her always available friend.

When I met my wife, she had a friend in San Francisco whom she used to speak with on the phone every night and with whom she would spend all of her free time. This friend seemed like a very nice person. After my wife and I became a couple, she stopped speaking with her friend every night and the two stopped spending all of their free time together. According to my wife’s other friends, my wife’s friend was very depressed about this and was feeling quite isolated. My wife had been somewhat of a social crutch for the girl; she was someone the girl could turn to all the time.

The first time I met this friend, I was with my wife (who was my girlfriend at the time), in San Francisco, staying in a hotel. My wife had worked in San Francisco six months back, and we had traveled there from Los Angeles to visit this friend, who met us at the hotel. At the time of the visit, I was sitting in bed watching television. We were staying in a large hotel suite that had a couple of rooms.

My wife’s hair stylist was in San Francisco and my wife had made an appointment to get her hair done at the salon. Instead of going with my wife, the girl said she wanted to hang out in the room and rest. This seemed unusual.

When my wife left, her friend had been in a separate room, sitting and reading a magazine. After my wife left, however, the girl walked into the room where I was lying on the bed, and took off her sweater. She was wearing a very thin and very see-through shirt with no bra. She told me she was tired and asked if she could get on the bed with me. I said okay. Within a minute or two this girl was very close to me, and it quickly became an invitation for something more to occur. Her legs were touching mine and she was lying very close to me on a king-size bed. Then the girl got up to go to the bathroom and came out of the bathroom with her zipper down. She got back on the bed, zipped up her jeans, and put her belt on.

Given the fact that I did not know the girl very well, I found this behavior very strange. She was a former model and was obviously smart enough to know that this type of behavior would invite immediate attention from virtually any man. I did not respond to it, of course, and I knew that she was creating an opportunity for conflict.

I am pretty confident this woman was not interested in me; her interest was, instead, in creating a problem in my wife’s relationship. Had I not withdrawn from the situation as fast as possible, I am sure that the girl would have told my wife and all of her friends that I had made a pass at her or something along those lines. My wife would have been very angry and our relationship would have been negatively tainted forever, or ended.

Later that day we all went out for Japanese food. My wife’s friend was half Japanese and she started talking about Japanese culture. I started talking about Japanese culture and how much I admired it. All of a sudden the girl became very quiet and angry. I did not understand what this was about at all.

She told my wife later that she thought many of the things I had said about the Japanese were very “racist.” She did not want to talk to me anymore, and she refused to ever see me again. My wife had been at the same table and did not understand the girl’s reaction any more than I did. Someone who had been my wife’s best friend, whom she had talked to several times a day, very quickly forced my wife to choose sides. She said she would not be friends with my wife if she continued to see me.

My wife has not spoken with the girl since. I am just as astonished about this as my wife was, because in reality I had not said anything racist at all. What I know now is that the girl was trying to introduce conflict into our relationship, to serve her own ends.

When these small incidents transpire, a universal human law is present that is incredibly important to both your career and life: In virtually every conflict we are involved in with an employer or other individual, a third party is present who is instigating the conflict.

In both of the episodes above, the friends were attempting to introduce conflict in order to further their self-interest, which in these cases meant having more access to their friends. These are juvenile sorts of incidents, but the same rule plays out in your relationship with employers, the relationships between countries, and others.

Here is a different kind of example: Just this week Scotland released a Libyan man who was responsible for the bombing of a Pan Am flight several years ago over Lockerbie, Scotland. The Scottish did this for several reasons, I believe, including the fact that they want access to Libyan oil. However, both the Americans and the British are very upset with this, and the people in the Scottish government who are responsible for the release are not being investigated or aggressively questioned about this by their own government. By vocalizing their disapproval of Scotland’s actions, the American and British leaders are attempting to introduce conflict into the situation, because the release of the prisoner does not further American and British political ends.

While most people are under the belief that two people alone are usually responsible for creating and maintaining a conflict, in reality more conflicts are caused by the presence or influence of a third person than just between the two people alone. I am going to go out on a limb here, but I want you to understand how powerful this law is. I am not an expert by any means in foreign relations, but I do want to make a few small observations that are general in nature. Let’s take the US war against Iraq: It was alleged that Saddam Hussein was hiding nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, which were never found. The United States went to war with Iraq, and in the process tens of thousands of people on both sides have been killed, billions and billions of dollars have been spent, and all sorts of destruction and problems have occurred.

What is the true cause of this conflict? Since there never were any weapons of mass destruction found, it seems strange that this conflict ever occurred at all. Why did the US go to war without any proof of these weapons of mass destruction?

One of the reasons the war may have started is due to the fact that Dick Cheney was pressuring George Bush to start the war. The company of which Cheney is the former Chief Executive Officer, Halliburton, made billions of dollars from the war. Consider one report:

An analysis released by a Democratic senator found that Vice President Dick Cheney’s Halliburton stock options have risen 3,281 percent in the last year….

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) asserts that Cheney’s options–worth $241,498 a year ago–are now valued at more than $8 million. http://www.rawstory.com/news/2005/Cheneys_stock_options_rose_3281_last_1011.html

This is potentially an example of a third party causing a conflict. Was it in Cheney’s best interest to cause a serious conflict between the United States and Iraq–in order to further his own ends?

Another reason for the war may have been George Bush wanting revenge on Saddam Hussein, who at one time attempted to kill Bush’s father. Would the war in Iraq still have occurred if Bush were not seeking personal vengeance?

I am not a political analyst by any means; however, it is important to understand that behind many serious conflicts there are generally third parties who cause the conflict. Would the war still have occurred if Cheney did not have the connection with Halliburton?

The causes of war and conflict are often not what they seem.

In your career and in your life you are going to come into conflict with bosses, mates, friends, and others. Often, the conflict that you find yourself in will be wholly unjustified and more the product of others creating conflict, than of any specific issues you actually have. It is always important when you find yourself in conflict to look and see if some other person has really caused it. If you look for the other person and identify his or her motives, you and the person or group you are in conflict with will often resolve the conflict quickly. Knowing this rule could help you save your job or your relationship with another.


There is always a third party of some kind at the root of the conflicts in your life. Conflicts with others are an inevitable part of your life and career. When you analyze the conflicts in your life, you will often find that they are unjustified and created by others rather than by your own internal issues. When you identify a conflict in your life, determine whether the source is internal or external to you; once you identify the source, you will be able to quickly resolve these conflicts and remove impediments to your own career.

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About Harrison Barnes

Harrison Barnes is the Founder of BCG Attorney Search and a successful legal recruiter himself. Harrison is extremely committed to and passionate about the profession of legal placement. His firm BCG Attorney Search has placed thousands of attorneys. BCG Attorney Search works with attorneys to dramatically improve their careers by leaving no stone unturned in a search and bringing out the very best in them. Harrison has placed the leaders of the nation’s top law firms, and countless associates who have gone on to lead the nation’s top law firms. There are very few firms Harrison has not made placements with. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placements attract millions of reads each year. He coaches and consults with law firms about how to dramatically improve their recruiting and retention efforts. His company LawCrossing has been ranked on the Inc. 500 twice. For more information, please visit Harrison Barnes’ bio.

About BCG Attorney Search

BCG Attorney Search matches attorneys and law firms with unparalleled expertise and drive that gets results. Known globally for its success in locating and placing attorneys in law firms of all sizes, BCG Attorney Search has placed thousands of attorneys in law firms in thousands of different law firms around the country. Unlike other legal placement firms, BCG Attorney Search brings massive resources of over 150 employees to its placement efforts locating positions and opportunities that its competitors simply cannot. Every legal recruiter at BCG Attorney Search is a former successful attorney who attended a top law school, worked in top law firms and brought massive drive and commitment to their work. BCG Attorney Search legal recruiters take your legal career seriously and understand attorneys. For more information, please visit www.BCGSearch.com.

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4 Responses to “ External Sources and False Conflict”
  1. Avatar Michele Roberts says:

    This is long, but felt necessary to comment.
    I thought you were someone who writes on giving advice for job seekers. I don’t know what this story on external conflict involving girlfirends and politics has to do with the job force. I would think that you would write about a story that involves three people in a job situation, not sure where that all was going??? It’s also not a good idea to get into politics, because you are opening up a can of worms. After you saying that there were no weapons of mass destruction, my respect for your advice dropped down to zero. I have copied and pasted below comments from many of our political leaders (most I am sure you voted for or support) who also believed there were weapons of mass destruction. Here they are:

    > It is amazing how the facts are unimportant to so many, and how soon
    > they forget! Old records can still bite!!!!
    > “One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to
    > develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them.
    > That is our bottom line.” – President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998
    > “If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is
    > clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq’s
    > weapons of mass destruction
    > program.” – President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998
    > Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great
    > deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use
    > nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is
    > the greatest security threat we face.” – Madeline Albright, Feb 18,
    > 1998
    > “He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten
    > time since 1983.” – Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser,
    > Feb, 18,1998
    > “[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with
    > the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including,
    > if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to
    > respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq’s refusal to end its
    > weapons of mass destruction programs.” – Letter to President Clinton,
    > signed by Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI), Tom Daschle (D-SD), John Kerry( D –
    > MA), and others Oct. 9,1998
    > “Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass
    > destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region
    > and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.” – Rep.
    > Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998
    > “Hussein has … chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass
    > destruction and palaces for his cronies.” > – Madeline Albright,
    > Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999
    > “There is no doubt that … Saddam Hussein has invigorated his weapons
    > programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear
    > programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status.
    > In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is
    > doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop
    > longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our
    > allies” – Letter to President Bush, Signed by Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL,)
    > and others, December 5, 2001
    > “We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and
    > threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the
    > mandated of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass
    > destruction and the means of delivering them.” – Sen. Carl Levin (D,
    > MI), Sept. 19, 2002
    > “We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical
    > weapons throughout his country.” – Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002
    > “Iraq’s search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible
    > to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as
    > Saddam is in power.” – Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002
    > “We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and
    > developing weapons of mass destruction.” – Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA),
    > Sept 27, 2002
    > “The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are
    > confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and
    > biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course
    > to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities.
    > Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons…” –
    > Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002
    > “I will be voting to give the President of the United States the
    > authority to use force– if necessary– to disarm Saddam Hussein
    > because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction
    > in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security.” – Sen. John
    > F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9,2002
    > “There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working
    > aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear
    > weapons within the next five years … We also should remember we have
    > always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of
    > weapons of mass destruction.”- Sen. Jay
    > Rockefeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002
    > “He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years,
    > every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and
    > destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity.
    > This he has refused to do” – Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002
    > “In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports
    > show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and
    > biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his
    > nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to
    > terrorists, including al Qaeda members.
    > It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will
    > continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical
    > warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons.” – Sen.
    > Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002
    > “We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that
    > Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing
    > capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass
    > destruction.” – Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), Dec. 8, 2002
    > “Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein.
    > He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime …
    > He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so
    > consistently prone to miscalculation … And now he is miscalculating
    > America’s response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp
    > for weapons of mass destruction …
    > So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is
    > real” – Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003

    FROM JAN 2007:
    > There were 39 combat related killings in Iraq in January. In the fair
    > city of Detroit there were 35 murders in the month of January. That’s
    > just one American city, about as deadly as the entire war-torn country of Iraq.
    > When some claim that President Bush shouldn’t have started this war,
    > state the following:
    > a) FDR led us into World War II.
    > b) Germany never attacked us; Japan did.
    > c) From 1941-1945, 450,000 lives were lost. An average of 112,500 per
    > year.
    > d) Truman finished that war and started one in Korea. North Korea
    > never attacked us.
    > e) From 1950-1953, 55,000 lives were lost. An average of 18,334 per year.
    > f) John F. Kennedy started the Vietnam conflict in 1962. Vietnam never
    > attacked us.
    > g) Johnson turned Vietnam into a quagmire.
    > h) From 1965-1975, 58,000 lives were lost. An average of 5,800 per year.
    > i) Clinton went to war in Bosnia without UN or French consent. Bosnia
    > never attacked us.
    > j) Sudan offered Clinton the head of Osama Bin Laden’s (three times)
    > He did nothing. He was too busy playing with Monica Lewinsky. Osama
    > has attacked us on multiple occasions.
    > k) Since September 11, 2001, President Bush has liberated two
    > countries, crushed the Taliban, and crippled al-Qaeda. Also, put
    > nuclear inspectors in Libya, Iran, and, North Korea without firing a
    > shot, and captured a terrorists who slaughtered 300,000 of his own people.
    > The Democrats are complaining about how long the war is taking. But It
    > took less time to take Iraq than it took Janet Reno to take the Branch
    > Dravidian compound. That was a 51-day operation.
    > We’ve been looking for evidence for chemical weapons in Iraq for less
    > time than it took Hillary Clinton to find the Rose Law Firm billing records.
    > It took less time for the 3rd Infantry Division and the Marines to
    > destroy the Medina Republican Guard than it took Ted Kennedy to call
    > the police after his Oldsmobile sank at Chappaquiddick. How do you
    > call this?
    > It took less time to take Iraq than it took to count the votes in Florida!

    By the way, some of us want other countries (especially the ones who contain terrorist and are a threat to our freedom) to know that they cannot mess with America without a fight.

  2. Avatar John P. Fenner says:

    You missed Iran, the big winner of the Iraq War. Cheney’s “Secret Intel” on WMDs probably originated in Iranian Intelligence, funneled through Chulabi’s people.
    “Yellowcake” was a crude forgery, but it was what Cheney & W wanted to hear, so no one looked at it too hard.
    I hope I am wrong, but I am afraid that I am right.

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