It’s somewhat counterintuitive to think and say we actually laugh at our interpersonal disputes! But, in my work as a conflict management coach, I have heard some clients who end up laughing – mostly at themselves – regarding their disputes. It might be things like their reactions and ways they lost their sense of humour about the differences between them and the other person. They even laugh at how the conflict got so out of hand and away from them; some say have said something to the effect that the child in them – who couldn’t get their way – appeared in their conflict.
When clients lighten up and even laugh during conflict coaching it’s typically when they are deconstructing their conflicts and gaining increased perspectives on the dynamic and their part in it. At these times they come to realize various things about themselves as they stand back from what occurred. Some of those things might humorously embarrass them, and they find some of their antics to be laughable on reflection. In some other cases – conflicts between life partners, siblings, and friends – clients have reported (on follow up) that they have laughed with the other person about what occurred – their assumptions, their sassiness, their infantile ways of coping. Those and other sorts of reflections on incidents that went off the rails can strike us as humorous as we look back. (Of course, not all conflicts present things to laugh at in any way.)
This week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog invites you to consider a conflict and/or your part in it that you think you’d laugh at someday or, at least, would like to.
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