Conflict: Blown Out of Proportion

Conflict Management Coaching Blog by Cinnie Noble

It happens, at times, that our conflicts get blown out of proportion. This means we have a reaction that is too large for the situation. Essentially, that we are treating a problem more seriously than the context merits.

We might let a situation evolve in this way for any number of reasons. It could be we are so hurt that our outrage takes over and we end up fabricating facts to serve us and make the other person wrong. In this regard, we may describe what the other person said or did in ways we interpret them rather than what might be the actual facts. We may have reached our level of tolerance regarding certain behaviours, leading to over-the-top descriptions. We may have a tendency to be overly dramatic or inclined to take on a victim-type role, or we may generally be an exaggerator. These and other reasons may account for why we blow a situation out of proportion.

If you think you have blown a situation our of proportion or maybe, the other person or someone else accused you of doing so, try this set of Conflict Mastery Quest(ions):

  • What is the situation? What impact is this situation having on you?
  • What portion or portions might you be exaggerating?
  • For what reason(s) do you suppose you are making that portion or those portions different than it was or they were?
  • What need do you suppose you are fulfilling by making that portion or those portions bigger than they are?
  • What purpose does it serve to exaggerate the situation?
  • If you hadn’t made that portion or portions bigger, what different impact might there have been or be on you?
  • What different impact would there be on the other person?
  • What might be a more proportionate description of the situation?
  • How does it impact you to describe the situation without blowing it out of proportion?
  • What doesn’t work for you when you do so (your answer to the above question)?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?

What insights do you have?

                        author

Cinnie Noble

Cinnie Noble is a certified coach (PCC) and mediator and a former lawyer specializing in conflict management coaching. She is the author of two coaching books: Conflict Management Coaching: The CINERGY™ Model and Conflict Mastery: Questions to Guide You. MORE >

Featured Mediators

ad
View all

Read these next

Category

The Identity of the Mediation Profession

Kluwer Meditation Blog.While large scale efforts are being made in order to be recognized as a worldwide and a free standing profession, the mediation became a profession in some countries...

By Constantin-Adi Gavrila
Category

The Hidden Gems of Pricing Mediation Services

It's ok to have a low fee, according to my guest, Rafi Mohammed, author of The Art of Pricing, so long as it's the bottom of your pricing range. That's...

By Dina Beach Lynch
Category

Turning Parents Into People

The intention ‘to work in the best interest of children’ is a cornerstone of family mediation. It is both perfectly appropriate, and also extremely seductive. Appropriate because in the context...

By Michael Jacobs

Find a Mediator

X
X
X