When your tribe goes to war: women, conflict and lessons learnt

tribe 4

“An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.”
Mahatma Gandhi

Women working together are a force of nature. Just give a group of women an event to run, a purpose to run towards and we are powerful. In the tribal realm, however, we also struggle with seasons of tension and conflict.

As much as we can be intensely powerful when we work together, the same is true when we fight, compete and compare. Those seasons when we have unmet expectations, disappointments and words we regret.

What happens when your tribe goes to war?

A tribe is powerful but it can be a scary space of conflict and tension. Here are three thoughts I have learnt through difficult seasons in the feminine space.


I am a talker and a lover of words but the greatest lesson I have learnt in tribal warfare between sisters is to pause in the midst of battle. Whether it is online or face-to-face, when we hold different perspectives in conflict one of the best lessons we can learn is to pause. Words are powerful and one of the greatest tools in conflict is to find perspective when we press pause.

If you find yourself mid-battle, press pause, find perspective and measure your words.

Celebrate Difference:

As I grow older I am learning that my tribe of women that inspires me towards the future is the greatest gift, but it is easy in the midst of the culture of the pack to expect similar life responses from each other. I am learning in the midst of a tribe, that it is imperative that we celebrate difference. When someone in our gang sees something from a difference perspective, we need to listen not jump straight to the defensive. What if in the midst of conflict and battle, we allowed people to hold different perspectives and opinions on the topic?

If you find yourself mid-battle, remember that everyone has a right to their own perspective and opinion.

Keep Accounts Short:

As a tribe member, I could have a long list of unmet expectations to hold my friends to account on. Moments when I wasn’t invited, opportunities when I was overlooked, times when words that were hurtful. In the midst of the battle, when tensions are high and conflict is looming, one of the greatest gifts we can give to the members of our tribe is to keep accounts short. Rather than gather up a list of offences as we walk into the court room of justification, what if we just came together with a heart of understanding. When we keep accounts short, we believe the best-case scenario for the behaviour, rather than the worst.

If you find yourself mid-battle, remember to come with a heart ready to understand open to resolution, rather than one that is full of justification and defence.

When a tribe is open and inclusive, it has the opportunity to be powerful. When we conflict and battle, pulling each other down with competition and comparison it is toxic.

We have the choice to choose wisely.

Pause, celebrate and let go.




About Amanda

Amanda Viviers has published ten books and is a presenter on radio across New Zealand and Australia. She is also the co-founder of Kinwomen; a network created to inspire women to start conversations that matter. Head of Narrative for Compassion Australia, she is driven by a passion for social justice, she loves supporting projects for women in developing countries. Teaching women to live creative lives, beyond the circumstances, is something she pursues daily. Wife of Charl and Mum of Maximus and Liberty, she lives a creative life, longing to see people live inspired. Pinterest/ Twitter/ @Mandaviviers Instagram: @amandaviviers Facebook: @amandaviviersperth