Most people have enough common sense to mind the weather forecast. You can see that on the motorway when all the cars are slowing down as soon as it starts raining heavily. I remember back when we had a sailing boat, we wouldn’t go out when the winds were so high that the risk factor out-weight the pleasure that could be gained. Of course, there are most likely some exceptions, some people are dare devils who zoomed along the motorway with high-speed totally ignoring the conditions.
Most people however ‘drive to the conditions’. If the weather is particularly nasty, they might even elect to stay at home. It makes perfect sense considering that driving in stormy weather is not pleasurable, it’s dangerous, one’s field of vision is impaired, and you might not get very far. (more…)
Number two of the mistakes that kill the love in relationships is the conviction that MY view of things is right and YOUR views of things is wrong. I don’t think there has ever been a couple that presented for relationship counselling, coaching, or therapy that was not caught in that erroneous assumption.
To be fair, it is not only an affliction couples suffer from, but human kind in general follows that strict line of thinking. Hence the fights, wars, and conflicts we observe throughout history and present day circumstances. How much suffering happened because people thought they were right and hence their actions were justified: from human sacrifice, to slavery, to witch hunt, to wars, oppression, human rights …. the list is endless. (more…)
This morning I came across an article called “How energy vampires drain your spirit and soul” suggesting that negative, demanding, inconsiderate, and un-boundaried people drain your energy, leaving you exhausted and depleted. To protect yourself from such drain it is suggested that you limit contact, set boundaries – indeed the author came up with 11 ways to do so. The only thing missing was garlic.
Of course, like all vampire stories, the idea that a person can drain your energy isn’t true either – even though there may be a lot of people who believe that other people, circumstances or events can ‘DO’ something to you. However, human beings are just not built like that. Sorry! We don’t come with power sockets or USB ports that other people can – without our consent – plug into and upload or download files, feelings, thoughts, or for that matter energy. (Actually, in ‘the land of psychiatry’ the notion that someone can make you do things or gives you thoughts or feelings, is an indication of psychosis). Let me show you what I mean:
When it comes to dealing effectively with conflict situations, knowing about your own conflict style will come as a great help. Everybody reacts differently to conflict. Basically, how we react to conflict, what triggers conflict, and what constitutes vulnerable areas to could lead to conflict depends very much on a person’s history and his/her formative experiences in childhood. For example, growing up in a family where conflict often led to violence might cause a child to grow up dealing with conflict either by acting violently or by avoiding it altogether.
I mentioned before that conflict arises when a person’s needs or expectations are not met. However, conflict does not just rest on a difference in needs but also on the negative meaning that people give an action or behaviour. Thus our perception and interpretation of a situation plays a large part in conflict.
Your partner comes home later than expected without calling you. You feel disappointed and hurt and are getting angry because you consider his actions disrespectful; he obviously doesn’t care about you; he can’t be bothered. You make a scene and accused him of all the things you just thought.
Conflict is a normal occurrence. Whether you think of personal intimate relationships, friendships, or workplace relations, you can anticipate that conflict will happen sooner or later. It is unrealistic to expect that people have always the same needs, ideas, intentions, or plans. By finding constructive ways navigating through times in which you have a different position to your ‘partner’, you will be able to
- grow as a person
- arrive at a deeper understanding of any given situation
- learn about the other person and his/her needs
- will gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your important needs.
In a way, conflict can be understood as a result of resistance to one’s planned path of action or expected needs. Yet, rather than seeing it as a negative phenomenon, resistance has a life giving side to it. Life would be impossible without resistance. Indeed, resistance is not an impediment but the driving force for any progress and forward movement. Without resistance people cannot blow-dry their hair, cars don’t move, and people would slide off chairs.
When you experience resistance, you are given the opportunity to grow stronger within yourself as well as strengthen your relationships. Read on in the next post that explores “How to fight fair”.
Most people have a clear idea what conflict is. Most people don’t like conflict. In most cases conflict is difficult and hurtful for all parties involved.
Social theorist Axel Honneth explains the significant role conflict plays for a person’s healthy sense of identity and individualisation as follows: Individuals learn about who they are through interactions with others. Thus they derive a sense of self and identity through social processes of approval and recognition.
Any forms of disrespect, for example rudeness, insult, humiliation, the withholding of care or support, the withholding of rights that are enjoyed by other members of society, discrimination, marginalisation, the lack of appreciation or acceptance for one’s way of life, abuse, rape, or torture cause a threat to a person’s integrity and self-development and could bring the whole identity of a person to a collapse.