There are times many of us interact in ways we’re not very proud of. It may be because we are reacting to what someone is saying or doing. It may be because we aren’t getting our way on something we wanted to have happen. It may be because we are hurt, angry, feeling betrayed, jealous, disappointed, trying to assert ourselves, getting pushback on something important to us that we value, and so on.
Interpersonal conflicts often bring out the worst in us and are when we act and react in ways that do not serve us well – reflecting ways we don’t want to be or be seen. We don’t always like ourselves at these times and it’s likely the other person in our interaction doesn’t like us either! Nor do others who observe us.
For some of us this does not matter. We like ourselves if we met ourselves anyway. Others of us do not want to be perceived in ways that do not reflect characteristics that we take pride in. We do not like ourselves at these times. This week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog invites you to consider an interpersonal dispute in which you interacted in a way or ways you didn’t like as you answer these questions:
- What was the dispute about?
- What did you want to have happen that didn’t?
- What did the other person say or do that was especially hard to hear, hurtful, upsetting etc.?
- As you look back on that situation – what about your answer to the last question resulted in you reacting in ways that you don’t like?
- How would you describe that reaction?
- When you think about it now, what do you prefer you had said or done that you would like?
- What got in your way of responding the way you prefer?
- If someone you care about observed you – during the time you reacted in ways you didn’t like – how might that person describe you and how you reacted?
- What would you prefer that same person would say about you and how you interacted in the conflict instead?
- What sorts of things might you do the next time you find yourself becoming provoked that would prevent you from interacting in ways you don’t like?
- What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
- What insights do you have?