When we become embroiled in an interpersonal conflict it’s common that we easily lose track of what’s important to us. Rather, we might tend to put our energy into reacting to the dynamic of the dispute. This might be by defending ourselves, blaming, criticizing, name-calling and other signs of our negative state of mind. What often makes our reactions worse and even less constructive is if our resilience is low. If we are fatigued, worn down, stressed and beleaguered by various things in our lives we lack the wherewithal to effectively respond. Our ‘cups’ are empty!
At these times our ability to reflect, to center and balance ourselves, to consider not only our perspective but also where the other person might be coming from, to see the opportunity that exists in the dynamic to better understand one another – and other possible positive outcomes can get lost. Being ‘on empty’ leaves us unable to effectively engage with the other person in a productive manner and be resilient when the conflict overwhelms us and our energy.
This week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog invites you to consider a dispute you are in or have recently been in and see if your answers to the following questions help give you back some focus that is more constructive and helps the emptiness.
- What’s the situation about?
- What is bothering you most about it?
- How might you rate your current level of resilience on a scale of 1-10 (10 being very high)?
- What’s keeping you in a low resilience place right now if your answer to the above question indicates it’s lacking (below 7 let’s say)?
- How might your level of resilience and emptiness have an impact on your ability to engage effectively in the dispute you referred to?
- If ‘empty’ is a word you’d use to describe what you are also experiencing about the conflict and how to manage it what might help fill that space to make you feel better and more resilient?
- What negative feelings about the other person and/or their position on the situation are weighing you down most?
- When your level of resilience is higher tha
n the number you indicated in the above question what’s different for you – in general?
- If you were in that higher state of resilience and faced with this sort of situation what more positive frame might you consider about the other person and their ‘come-from’ in the dispute you referred to?
- What do you need or want to do for yourself before you feel ready to productively engage in a discussion with the other person?
- What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
- What insights do you have?